January 24, 2017

2017 Australian Open – Day 5 Men’s Preview

2017 AUSTRALIAN OPEN

DAY 5 MEN’S NOTES

Friday 20 January

3rd Round Top Half

 

Kei Nishikori

Featured matches

 

No. 1 Andy Murray (GBR) v No. 31 Sam Querrey (USA)

No. 4 Stan Wawrinka (SUI) v No. 29 Viktor Troicki (SRB)

No. 5 Kei Nishikori (JPN) v (Q) Lukas Lacko (SVK)

No. 10 Tomas Berdych (CZE) v No. 17 Roger Federer (SUI)

No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) v No. 23 Jack Sock (USA)

No. 27 Bernard Tomic (AUS) v Daniel Evans (GBR)

Steve Darcis (BEL) v Andreas Seppi (ITA)

Mischa Zverev (GER) v Malek Jaziri (TUN)

 

On court today…

 

  • After Novak Djokovic’s surprise defeat on Thursday, world No. 1 Andy Murray is looking to avoid an upset of his own when he takes on Sam Querrey. The American, who ended an 8-match losing streak against world No. 1s to end Djokovic’s title defence at last year’s Wimbledon, will hope to cause another surprise and defeat Murray for only the 2nd time in their 8th meeting. A win for Murray would be his 48th at the Australian Open, which would see him equal Andre Agassi and his coach Ivan Lendl in joint 4th-place on the Open Era list for the most Australian Open match-wins.

 

  • Tomas Berdych is seeking to end a 5-match losing streak against Roger Federer as the pair meet for a 23rd time in the night session on Rod Laver Arena. This is the pair’s 7th meeting at a Grand Slam – but the first time that they have met before the round of 16 at a major. Berdych has won 2 of their 6 previous Grand Slam encounters, but has not beaten the Swiss in any of their 3 meetings in Melbourne.

 

  • Querrey and Jack Sock, who takes on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, are both looking for a place in the round of 16 here. The last time as many as 2 Americans reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open was in 2010, when Andy Roddick reached the quarterfinals and John Isner fell in the round of 16.

 

  • Mischa Zverev and younger brother Alexander Zverev are the first pair of brothers to reach the 3rd round at a Grand Slam since Byron and Wayne Black reached this stage here in 1998. Mischa takes on Malek Jaziri on Show Court 2 today.

 1 ANDY MURRAY (GBR) v NO. 31 SAM QUERREY (USA)

Head-to-head: Murray leads 6-1

2006     Newport                        Grass (O)          R16      Murray              75 62

2008     AMS Cincinnati              Hard (O)           R32      Murray              76(3) 61

2008     AMS Paris                    Hard (I)             R32      Murray              62 64

2010     Wimbledon                  Grass (O)         R16      Murray             75 63 64

2010     Los Angeles                  Hard (O)           FR        Querrey             57 76(2) 63

2012     Cincinnati-1000              Hard (O)           R32      Murray              62 64

2014     Davis Cup (WG-1R)       Clay (O)            R4        Murray              76(5) 67(3) 61 63

 

An 8th career meeting for the 2 players, and their 2nd at a Grand Slam. Querrey’s only victory over Murray came in winning the title at 2010 Los Angeles.

 

Murray has not lost to a player ranked as low as No. 32 Querrey at a Grand Slam since losing to No. 38 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the 1st round here in 2008 – one of only 4 occasions he has lost to players ranked outside the Top 30 at a major.

 

MURRAY                                       v                                      QUERREY

 

29                                          Age                                          29

1                                    ATP Ranking                                   32

44                                         Titles                                          8

178-40                     Career Grand Slam Record                      41-39

47-11                        Australian Open Record                        11-10

636-175                              Career Record                              287-236

428-114                        Career Record – Hard                         198-151

6-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-1

6-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-1

23-9                          Career Five-Set Record                          4-10

9                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         1

184-107                      Career Tiebreak Record                       143-143

4-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            2-1

 

  • 5-time Australian Open runner-up MURRAY is bidding to record his 48th Australian Open match-win and equal Andre Agassi and his coach Ivan Lendl in joint 4th-place on the Open Era list for the most Australian Open match-wins. Rafael Nadal could also record his 48th match-win here if he reaches the round of 16 here. [NB written prior to Nadal’s 2nd round match on Thursday.]

 

Most Australian Open match-wins (Open Era)

Player Win-loss
Roger Federer 82-13
Novak Djokovic 58-7
Stefan Edberg 56-10
Andre Agassi

Ivan Lendl

48-5

48-10

Andy Murray

Rafael Nadal

Pete Sampras

47-11
46-10*45-9

Active players in bold. *Figures accurate prior to Nadal’s 2nd round match here.

 

  • Murray is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the 9th straight year. He defeated Illya Marchenko 75 76(5) 62 in the 1st round and qualifier Andrey Rublev 63 60 62 in the 2nd. He is contesting his 12th straight Australian Open and 44th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Murray is bidding to record his 179th Grand Slam match-win and take sole ownership of 8th place on the Open Era list for the most Grand Slam match-wins ahead of Stefan Edberg (178-47) (see Preview page 5).

 

  • Murray is looking to avoid suffering the earliest exit for the top seed at the Australian Open since Lleyton Hewitt fell in the 1st round here in 2002 (see Preview page 9).

 

  • Murray is looking to become the first man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after losing 5 finals at any one Grand Slam. He finished as runner-up to Roger Federer here in 2010, and to Novak Djokovic in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016. Djokovic and Federer (at Roland Garros), Goran Ivanisevic (at Wimbledon) and Lendl (at the US Open), are the only players in the Open Era to lose 3 Grand Slam finals at one major before winning the title.

 

  • Murray is looking to win the title here and avoid becoming the first man in the Open Era to lose 6 Grand Slam finals at any one major. Lendl, is the only other man to have lost 5 finals at any one Grand Slam event – losing in the title match at the US Open in 1982-84 and 1988-89, but winning the tournament in 1985-87.

 

  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2016, Murray won his 3rd Grand Slam title and 2nd at Wimbledon, defeating Milos Raonic in the final. It was 11th Grand Slam final, but the first in which he had faced an opponent other than Djokovic or Federer. He also became the 3rd British man – and first since Bunny Austin in 1937 – to reach the Roland Garros final (l. Djokovic) but fell to Kei Nishikori in 5 sets in the quarterfinals at the US Open.

 

  • Also in 2016, Murray became the first player in history to successfully defend an Olympic singles gold medal after defeating Juan Martin del Potro in the final at Rio 2016. He won a career-best 9 Tour-level titles – including his first at the year-end ATP World Tour Finals, where he became the 17th man to secure the year-end No. 1 ranking after defeating Djokovic in the final. Two weeks earlier, he had become the 26th man to attain the world No. 1 ranking after reaching the final at Paris-1000.

 

  • Murray warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the final as No. 1 seed at Doha – his 13th final in his last 14 tournaments. He saw his 28-match Tour-level winning streak ended by Djokovic as the Serb won 63 57 64.

 

  • Murray is one of 6 Grand Slam champions who started men’s main draw here. Murray won the 2012 US Open title (d. Djokovic) and became the first British man to win the Wimbledon singles title in 77 years in 2013 (d. Djokovic) before winning the title again in 2016.

 

  • Murray was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s 2017 New Year’s Honours list.

 

  • Murray has played Davis Cup since 2005 and has a 30-3 singles win-loss record in the competition in 20 ties played, leading Great Britain to its first title since 1936 in 2015. Great Britain will face Canada in the World Group first round in Ottawa on 3-5 February.

 

  • Murray is coached by Ivan Lendl, who won the Australian Open in 1989 and 1990, and former world No. 121 Jamie Delgado.

 

  • QUERREY is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the first time.

 

  • Querrey advanced to the 3rd round after defeating wild card Quentin Halys 67(10) 76(4) 63 64 and wild card Alex De Minaur 76(5) 60 61 in the opening 2 rounds.

 

  • Querrey is one of 2 Americans through to the 3rd round here along with Jack Sock. The last time multiple Americans reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open was in 2010, when Andy Roddick reached the quarterfinals and John Isner fell in the round of 16.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here for the 5th time, Querrey has equalled his best Australian Open result. He also reached the 3rd round on his debut here as a wild card in 2007 (l. Tommy Robredo), and as a direct acceptance in 2008 (l. Novak Djokovic), 2013 (l. Stan Wawrinka) and 2014 (l. Fabio Fognini). This is his 11th Australian Open and his 40th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Querrey is bidding to record his 2nd career match-win against a world No. 1. He ended an 8-match losing streak against No. 1 ranked players by defeating Novak Djokovic in the 3rd round at 2016 Wimbledon in his most recent meeting with a No. 1 player. It was his first victory against a No. 1 player.

 

  • Querrey’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the quarterfinals at 2016 Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic). His victory over then-world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the 3rd round saw him become the first American to beat a world No. 1 at Wimbledon since Kevin Curren defeated John McEnroe in the quarterfinals in 1985. He was the first American to beat a World No. 1 at a Grand Slam since Andre Agassi defeated Lleyton Hewitt in the semifinals at the 2002 US Open.

 

  • Querrey fell in the 1st round at the other 3 Grand Slams in 2016. He retired with cramping at 2-sets all against Dusan Lajovic in the 1st round here, before falling to Bjorn Fratangelo at Roland Garros and Janko Tipsarevic at the US Open.

 

  • Querrey warmed up for the Australian Open at Brisbane, where he fell to Diego Schwartzman in the 1st round. He finished as runner-up in the doubles event with Gilles Muller, falling to Thanasi Kokkinakis/Jordan Thompson.

 

  • Querrey won his 8th career-singles title at 2016 Delray Beach (d. Rajeev Ram). 6 of his 8 career titles have come on a hard court. Also in 2016, he reached the semifinals at Memphis (l. Kei Nishikori), Acapulco (l. Dominic Thiem) and ’s-Hertogenbosch (l. Nicolas Mahut).

 

  • Querrey is a former Top 20 player, having recorded a career-high ranking of No. 17 in January 2011. He plays here at No. 32.

 

  • Querrey has entered the men’s doubles event here with Donald Young. They defeated defending champions Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares 63 76(5) in the 1st round on Thursday.

 

  • Querry is coached by Craig Boynton, who also works with Steve Johnson.

 

 

 

 4 STAN WAWRINKA (SUI) v NO. 29 VIKTOR TROICKI (SRB)

Head-to-head: Wawrinka leads 7-0

2009     Monte Carlo-1000          Clay (O)            R64      Wawrinka          62 63

2010     Belgrade                       Clay (O)            QF        Wawrinka          75 67(3) 76(6)

2015     Shanghai-1000             Hard (O)           R32      Wawrinka          76(3) 63

2015     Paris-1000                    Hard (I)             R16      Wawrinka          64 75

2016     Roland Garros            Clay (O)           R16      Wawrinka         76(5) 67(7) 63 62

2016     St Petersburg               Hard (I)             QF        Wawrinka          75 62

2017     Brisbane                       Hard (O)           R16      Wawrinka          76(5) 64

 

An 8th career meeting between these 2 players and their 2nd at a Grand Slam.

 

Troicki is looking to end a 7-match losing streak against Wawrinka, who has dropped just 2 sets in his 7 previous encounters with the Serb.

 

Wawrinka has won all 4 of their hard court meetings in straight sets, most recently in the 2nd round at Brisbane earlier this month.

 

WAWRINKA                                     v                                        TROICKI

 

31                                          Age                                          30

4                             ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            35

15                                         Titles                                          3

121-44                     Career Grand Slam Record                      45-31

33-10                        Australian Open Record                         11-8

443-253                              Career Record                              262-224

247-141                        Career Record – Hard                         171-140

4-1                                   2017 Record                                   4-2

4-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              4-2

25-19                         Career Five-Set Record                         17-14

6                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         5

181-172                      Career Tiebreak Record                         92-94

1-2                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-2

 

  • 2014 Australian Open champion WAWRINKA is looking to reach the round of 16 here for the 5th straight year.

 

  • Wawrinka advanced to the 3rd round after defeating Martin Klizan 46 64 75 46 64 in the 1st round on Monday and Steve Johnson 63 64 64 in the 2nd round on Wednesday. His 5-set victory over Klizan in the 1st round improved his overall 5-set win-loss record to 25-19, and to 2-3 in 5-set matches at the Australian Open.

 

  • Wawrinka has not lost as early as the 3rd round at the Australian Open since 2012, when as No. 21 seed he fell to Nicolas Almagro at this stage. This is his 12th Australian Open appearance and his 48th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Last year here as No. 4 seed, Wawrinka fell to Milos Raonic 64 63 57 46 63 in the round of 16.

 

  • Wawrinka’s best Australian Open result is winning the title in his first Grand Slam final in 2014 (d. Rafael Nadal 63 62 36 63). He was the first player to defeat the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds en route to a Grand Slam title since Sergei Bruguera won 1993 Roland Garros.

 

  • Wawrinka has won 3 Grand Slam titles at 3 different majors. He also won 2015 Roland Garros and the 2016 US Open, defeating Djokovic in both finals. In Paris, he became the 2nd Swiss player – man or woman – in history to win Roland Garros. At 30 years 71 days, he was the oldest man to win in Paris since Andres Gomez in 1990. At the US Open, aged 31 years 167 days, he became the oldest US Open champion since Ken Rosewall in 1970 and just the 5th man to win multiple Grand Slam titles after turning 30. He is one of 6 Grand Slam champions who started in the men’s draw here.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Wawrinka reached the semfinals at Roland Garros (l. Andy Murray) but fell in the 2nd round at Wimbledon (l. Juan Martin del Potro).

 

  • In 2016, Wawrinka won a career-best 4 titles for the 2nd straight year. As well as winning the US Open, he won his 3rd straight title at Chennai (d. Borna Coric) and won the titles at Dubai (d. Marcos Baghdatis) and Geneva (d. Marin Cilic). He also finished runner-up at St. Petersburg (l. Alexander Zverev).

 

  • Wawrinka warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the semifinals as No. 2 seed at Brisbane, where he fell to Kei Nishikori 76(3) 63.

 

  • Wawrinka is coached by Magnus Norman, who reached the semifinals here in 2000.

 

  • TROICKI is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the first time and equal his best Grand Slam result. This is his 9th Australian Open and his 32nd Grand Slam appearance.

 

  • Troicki advanced to the 3rd round here after winning consecutive 5-set matches for the 2nd time in his career. He defeated Damir Dzumhur 64 64 26 26 63 and Paolo Lorenzi 63 16 76(3) 36 63 in the opening 2 rounds to improve his career 5-set win-loss record to 18-14. He also won his first 2 matches at 2012 Wimbledon in 5-sets, defeating Marcel Granollers and Martin Klizan.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Troicki has equalled his best Australian Open performance. He also reached the 3rd round here in 2011 (l. Djokovic), 2015 (l. Tomas Berdych) and 2016 (l. Milos Raonic).

 

  • Troicki’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the round of 16 on 5 occasions – at Roland Garros in 2011 (l. Andy Murray), 2013 (l. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga) and 2016 (l. today’s opponent), and at Wimbledon in 2012 and 2015 (l. Vasek Pospisil).

 

  • In Grand Slam play in 2016, as well as reaching the round of 16 at Roland Garros and the 3rd round here, Troicki fell in the 2nd round at both Wimbledon (l. Albert Ramos-Vinolas) and the US Open (l. Jared Donaldson).

 

  • Troicki’s other highlights in 2016 included defending his title in Sydney (d. Grigor Dimitrov) and finishing runner-up at Sofia (l. Roberto Bautista Agut). He also reached 2 semifinals – at Winston-Salem (l. Bautista Agut) and Chengdu (l. Karen Khachanov) – and 3 further quarterfinals.

 

  • Troicki warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the semifinals as No. 3 seed at Sydney (l. Gilles Muller), after falling in the 2nd round at Brisbane (l. today’s opponent).

 

  • Troicki has won just one of his last 10 matches against Top 5 opponents. His only win in that time came in the 2nd round at 2016 Shanghai-1000 when he defeated No. 5 Rafael Nadal. Overall, he has a 3-38 win-loss record against Top 5 opposition and has never beaten a Top 5 player at a Grand Slam.

 

  • Troicki has entered the men’s doubles here with Dusan Lajovic. They defeated Renzo Olivo/Guido Pella 64 36 63 in the 1st round on Thursday.

 

  • Troicki was a member of the ITF Junior Touring Team in Europe and North America in 2004, funded by the Grand Slam Development Fund.

 

  • Troicki is coached by Jack Reader.

 

 

 5 KEI NISHIKORI (JPN) v (Q) LUKAS LACKO (SVK)

Head-to-head: Nishikori leads 4-2

2012     Miami-1000       Hard (O)           R64      Nishikori           63 63

2014     Washington       Hard (O)           R16      Nishikori           62 26 63

 

A 3rd meeting for these 2 players, and their first at a Grand Slam.

 

Nishikori has not lost to a player ranked outside the Top 100 since he lost to No. 179th-ranked qualifier Daniel Evans in the 1st round at the 2013 US Open. His defeat to Evans at the 2013 US Open was also his only defeat to a qualifier at a major. He has a 6-1 win-loss record against qualifiers at the majors.

 

NISHIKORI                                      v                                         LACKO

 

27                                          Age                                          29

5                             ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            121

11                                         Titles                                          0

62-28                      Career Grand Slam Record                      13-28

22-7                         Australian Open Record                          7-8

306-143                              Career Record                               80-118

216-100                        Career Record – Hard                           63-79

5-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-0

5-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-0

15-5                          Career Five-Set Record                           7-7

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         1

91-64                        Career Tiebreak Record                         48-41

1-1                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-0

 

  • NISHIKORI is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the 6th straight year. This is his 8th Australian Open appearance and his 30th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Nishikori advanced to the 3rd round after defeating Andrey Kuznetsov 57 61 64 67(6) 62 in the 1st round on Monday and Jeremy Chardy 63 64 63 in the 2nd round on Wednesday.

 

  • Nishikori’s 1st round victory against Kuznetsov maintained his record of never having lost a 5-set match at the Australian Open. He has 4-0 win-loss record in 5-set matches here and a 15-5 record in 5-set matches overall.

 

  • Nishikori’s best result here is reaching the quarterfinals in 2012 (l. Andy Murray), 2015 (l. Stan Wawrinka) and 2016 (l. Novak Djokovic). He is the only Japanese man to reach the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park in the Open Era.

 

  • At the 2014 US Open, Nishikori became the first Asian male to contest a Grand Slam final after defeating three Top 10 players – Milos Raonic, Wawrinka and Djokovic – in consecutive matches before falling to Marin Cilic in the title match.

 

  • In Grand Slam play last year Nishikori reached the semifinals at the US Open (l. Wawrinka), the quarterfinals here and the round of 16 at both Roland Garros (l. Richard Gasquet) and Wimbledon, where he retired with a rib injury while trailing Cilic 61 5-1.

 

  • Nishikori’s best result in 2016 was winning his 4th straight title at Memphis (d. Taylor Fritz), joining Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic as the only active players to have won 4 consecutive titles at a single Tour-level event. He finished runner-up at 4 further tournaments at Miami-1000 (l. Djokovic), Barcelona (l. Nadal), Toronto-1000 (l. Djokovic) and Basel (l. Cilic). He also won singles bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis Event after defeating Rafael Nadal in the 3rd place play-off.

 

  • Nishikori warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the final at Brisbane, where he fell to Grigor Dimitrov.

 

  • Nishikori is the highest-ranked Japanese man in ATP World Tour Rankings history (since 1973). He had the nickname ‘Project 45’ as a major goal was to get him to No. 45 in the rankings, which would be one spot better than the highest by any Japanese man (Shuzo Matsuoka).

 

  • Nishikori plays here seeded No. 5 – his joint-highest seeding at the Australian Open. He was also seeded No. 5 here in 2015.

 

  • Nishikori is coached by Dante Bottini and Michael Chang. Chang finished as runner-up at the 1996 Australian Open, losing in the final to Boris Becker.

 

  • Qualifier LACKO is bidding to reach the round of 16 at a Grand Slam for the first time. This is his 9th appearance in Melbourne and his 29th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Lacko has equalled his best Grand Slam performance. He also reached the 3rd round as a qualifier at the 2012 Australian Open (l. Rafael Nadal) and at Wimbledon as a direct acceptance in 2012 (l. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga) and as a qualifier in 2016 (l. Marin Cilic).
  • Lacko advanced to 3rd round after defeating No. 26 seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas 46 75 16 64 63 in the 1st round on Monday and Dudi Sela 26 63 62 64 in the 2nd round on Wednesday. His 5-set win over Ramos-Vinolas improved his 5-set win-loss record to 7-7. He has a 3-1 win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open.
  • As No. 10 seed, Lacko defeated Jeremy Jahn (GER) 62 63, Maximo Gonzalez (ARG) 46 62 62 and No. 18 seed Denis Kudla (USA) 62 62 in the 3 rounds of qualifying here.
  • Last year here, Lacko fell in the 1st round of qualifying (l. Frank Dancevic). Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, he reached the 3rd round at Wimbledon but fell in the 1st round at the US Open (l. Ernesto Escobedo). He did not attempt to qualify at Roland Garros.
  • Lacko won just 4 Tour-level matches in 2016. As well as reaching the 3rd round at Wimbledon, he reached the 2nd round at Houston (d. Dmitry Tursunov, l. Feliciano Lopez) and Washington (d. Denis Shapovalov, l. Jack Sock).
  • Also in 2016, Lacko reached the final at the Guangzhou Challenger (CHN) (l. Nikoloz Basilashvili) and reached the semifinals at 4 other Challenger events – Manila (PHI) (l. Mikhail Youzhny), Seoul (KOR) (l. Yen-Hsun Lu), Tashkent (UZB) (l. Denis Istomin) and Brescia (ITA) (l. Luca Vanni).
  • Lacko is bidding to record his first win against a Top 5 player He has lost all 10 of his previous meetings with Top 5 opponents. His career-best win came against No. 17 Sam Querrey at 2011 San Jose, the only time he has beaten a player ranked in the Top 20.
  • Lacko is a former Top 50 player. He ended 2012 with a career-best year-end ranking of No. 50, peaking at No. 44 in January 2013. He plays here at No. 121.
  • Lacko was ranked 3 in the junior rankings in 2005. He reached the semifinals of the boys’ singles at 2005 Roland Garros (l. Antal Van Der Duim) and the quarterfinals of the boys’ singles at the 2005 Australian Open (l. Sergei Bubka).
  • Lacko is coached by Karol Kucera

 

10 TOMAS BERDYCH (CZE) v NO. 17 ROGER FEDERER (SUI)

Head-to-head: Federer leads 16-6  

2004     Olympic Tennis Event, Athens    Hard (O)           R32      Berdych            46 75 75

2005     AMS Hamburg                          Clay (O)            R32      Federer             62 61

2006     French Open                             Clay (O)            R16      Federer             63 62 63

2006     Halle                                         Grass (O)          F          Federer             60 67(4) 62

2006     Wimbledon                              Grass (O)         R16      Federer            63 63 64

2007     Davis Cup (WG-PO)                   Carpet (I)          R4        Federer             76(5) 76(10) 63

2008     Australian Open                      Hard (O)           R16      Federer            64 76(7) 63

2008     Beijing                                      Hard (O)           R16      Federer             63 76(4)

2009     Australian Open                       Hard (O)           R16      Federer            46 67(4) 64 64 62

2010     Miami-1000                               Hard (O)           R16      Berdych            64 67(3) 76(6)

2010     Wimbledon                              Grass (O)         QF        Berdych           64 36 61 64

2010     Toronto-1000                             Hard (O)           QF        Federer             63 57 76(5)

2011     Cincinnati                                  Hard (O)           QF        Berdych            62 76(3)

2011     Paris-1000                                 Hard (I)             SF        Federer             64 63

2012     Madrid-1000                              Clay (O)            F          Federer             36 75 75

2012     US Open                                  Hard (O)           QF        Berdych           76(1) 64 36 63

2013     Dubai                                       Hard (O)           SF        Berdych            36 76(8) 64

2014     Dubai                                       Hard (O)           F          Federer             36 64 63

2015     Indian Wells-1000                      Hard (O)           QF        Federer             64 60

2015     Rome-1000                               Clay (O)            QF        Federer             63 63

2015     ATP World Tour Finals               Hard (I)             RR       Federer             64 62

2016     Australian Open                       Hard (O)           QF        Federer            76(4) 62 64

 

A 23rd career meeting for the 2 players, who first met over 12 years ago when Berdych upset top seed Federer in the 2nd round at the 2004 Olympic Tennis Event. This is their 7th meeting at a Grand Slam and 4th at the Australian Open.

 

Berdych is bidding to end a 5-match losing streak against Federer – the last time he defeated the Swiss was in the semifinals at 2013 Dubai.

 

Berdych has beaten Federer at a Grand Slam on 2 previous occasions – at 2010 Wimbledon, when he went on to reach his first, and, to date, only, Grand Slam final and at the 2012 US Open. This is the first time that the pair have met as early as the 3rd round at a major.

 

On hard courts, Federer leads the head-to-head 9-5. He has also won both of their previous meetings in Melbourne – in the round of 16 in both 2008 and 2009, when he recovered from 0-2 down to win, and in straight sets in the quarterfinals last year.

 

                         BERDYCH                                      v                                       FEDERER

 

31                                          Age                                          35

10                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            17

13                                         Titles                                         88

132-52                     Career Grand Slam Record                     309-51

40-13                        Australian Open Record                        82-13

586-304                              Career Record                             1082-245

366-193                        Career Record – Hard                         666-135

5-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-0

5-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-0

20-8                          Career Five-Set Record                         24-20

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                        10

202-165                      Career Tiebreak Record                       396-215

3-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-0

 

  • BERDYCH is bidding to reach the round of 16 at the Australian Open for the 7th straight year.

 

  • Berdych advanced to the 3rd round when he defeated Ryan Harrison 63 76(6) 62 on Wednesday. In the 1st round, Luca Vanni retired with a groin strain after Berdych had won the first set 61.
  • Last year here Berdych reached the quarterfinals for the 6th consecutive year, falling to today’s opponent 76(4) 62 64.

 

  • Berdych’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the semifinals in 2014 (l. Stan Wawrinka) and 2015 (l. Andy Murray). By reaching the semifinals here in 2014, he became the 2nd Czech man in the Open Era after Ivan Lendl to complete a set of Grand Slam semifinal appearances.

 

  • Berdych’s best result at a major is finishing runner-up at 2010 Wimbledon. He defeated today’s opponent in the quarterfinals and Novak Djokovic in the semifinals before losing to Rafael Nadal in the final.

 

  • Berdych warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the semfinals at Doha (l. Murray).

 

  • Berdych’s best result in 2016 was winning his 13th career title at Shenzhen (d. Richard Gasquet). 9 of his 13 titles have come on a hard court. He also reached the semifinals at Doha (l. Djokovic), Marseille (l. Nick Kyrgios), Wimbledon (l. Murray) and St. Petersburg (l. Alexander Zverev) and 7 further quarterfinals.

 

  • In Grand Slam play in 2016 Berdych reached the semifinals at Wimbledon and the quarterfinals at both the Australian Open and Roland Garros (l. Djokovic). He missed the US Open with appendicitis, ending his run of 52 consecutive Grand Slam appearances.

 

  • This is Berdych’s 14th consecutive Australian Open appearance and his 53rd Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Berdych dropped to No. 11 in the rankings on 31 October 2016 – the first time he had been out of the Top 10 since June 2010. He has been seeded at every Grand Slam event he has played since the 2005 US Open and plays here – ranked and seeded – at No. 10.

 

  • Berdych started working with Goran Ivanisevic in August 2016. He is also coached by Luka Kutanjac.
  • FEDERER is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the 15th time and extend his record for most appearances in the round of 16 at the Australian Open in the Open Era.

 

  • Federer advanced to the 3rd round for the 18th consecutive year after defeating qualifiers Jurgen Melzer 75 36 62 62 and Noah Rubin 75 63 76(3) in the opening 2 rounds.

 

  • Federer’s earliest exit in Melbourne is falling in the 3rd round on 3 occasions – on his debut here in 2000 (l. Arnaud Clement), in 2001 (l. Clement) and in 2015 (l. Andreas Seppi).

 

  • Federer is looking to become the 3rd man in history to win 5 Australian Open singles titles after Novak Djokovic and Roy Emerson, who have both won 6 titles here [see Preview page 2].

 

  • At 35 years 174 days, Federer is looking to become the 2nd oldest man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after Ken Rosewall, who won 3 Grand Slam titles after turning 35. Rosewall won the 1970 US Open (aged 35 years 315 days) and the Australian Open in 1971 (aged 36 years 73 days) and 1972 (aged 37 years 62 days).

 

  • Last year here Federer reached his 12th Australian Open semifinal, taking sole occupancy of 2nd place on the Open Era list for the most semifinals reached at any one Grand Slam event after Jimmy Connors (who reached 14 semifinals at the US Open). Aged 34 years 176 days, he was the oldest man to reach the semifinals here since 35-year-old Colin Dibley in 1979.

 

  • Federer played just 7 Tour-level events in 2016 after injuring his knee the day after his Australian Open semifinal. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus on 2 February and withdrew from tournaments at Rotterdam and Dubai. He returned with a quarterfinal finish at Monte Carlo-1000 (l. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga) but, despite playing 4 further tournaments, announced on 26 July that he would miss the rest of the season, including the Olympic Games in Rio, due to the knee injury.

 

  • Federer dropped out of the world’s Top 10 for the first time in 734 weeks (over 14 years) in November 2016 and did not qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals for the first time since 2001. He plays here ranked No. 17 – his lowest position since May 2001.
  • Federer made his comeback from injury at the 2017 Hopman Cup, defeating Daniel Evans 63 64 and Richard Gasquet 61 64, but losing to Alexander Zverev 76(1) 67(4) 76(4).

 

  • In Grand Slam play in 2016, Federer reached the semifinals at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic), where he saved 3 match points to recover from 0-2 down and defeat Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals. It was his 10th career-comeback from 0-2 down, equalling Aaron Krickstein and Boris Becker’s record for the most career comebacks from 0-2 down. He withdrew from Roland Garros, ending his record streak of 65 Grand Slam appearances, with a back injury.

 

  • Elsewhere in 2016, Federer finished runner-up at Brisbane (l. Raonic). He also reached back-to-back semifinals at Stuttgart (l. Dominic Thiem) and Halle (l. Zverev) and the 3rd round at Rome-1000 (l. Thiem). He failed to win a title during a season for the first time since winning his first at 2001 Milan.

 

  • This is Federer’s 69th major appearance. He is in 2nd place on the list for the most Grand Slams played in the Open Era behind Fabrice Santoro (70) [see Preview page 5].

 

  • Federer has won 4 titles here – in 2004 (d. Marat Safin 76(3) 64 62), 2006 (d. Marcos Baghdatis 57 75 60 62), 2007 (d. Fernando Gonzalez 76(2) 64 64) and 2010 (d. Andy Murray 63 64 76(11)).

 

  • Federer is a 17-time Grand Slam singles champion. His last title at a major came at 2012 Wimbledon
    (d. Murray). He is one of 6 Grand Slam champions who started in this year’s men’s singles main draw.

 

  • Federer is coached by 2006 Australian Open quarterfinalist Ivan Ljubicic, and Severin Luthi.

 

 

 

 

 12 JO-WILFRIED TSONGA (FRA) v NO. 23 JACK SOCK (USA)

Head-to-head: Tsonga leads 2-0

2015     Madrid-1000      Clay (O)            R32      Tsonga             63 16 76(4)

2016     US Open          Hard (O)           R16      Tsonga             63 63 67(7) 62

 

A 3rd career meeting for the pair, and their 2nd at a Grand Slam. Tsonga has won both of their previous encounters, including a 4-set win at the US Open last year.

 

                          TSONGA                                       v                                          SOCK

 

31                                          Age                                          24

12                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            20

12                                         Titles                                          2

110-35                     Career Grand Slam Record                      24-16

32-9                         Australian Open Record                          4-2

392-181                              Career Record                               121-82

262-117                        Career Record – Hard                           84-60

4-1                                   2017 Record                                   6-0

4-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              6-0

15-9                          Career Five-Set Record                           4-1

4                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         1

182-134                      Career Tiebreak Record                         53-47

0-1                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            2-0

 

  • TSONGA is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the 8th time. This is his 10th appearance at Melbourne Park and his 36th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Tsonga advanced to the 3rd round here after defeating Thiago Monteiro 61 63 67(5) 62 and Dusan Lajovic 62 62 63 in the opening 2 rounds.

 

  • By defeating Thiago Monteiro in the 1st round here, Tsonga claimed the record for the most Grand Slam match-wins by a Frenchman ahead of Jean Borotra (108-23). He has a 110-35 win-loss record at the majors.
  • Tsonga is bidding to avoid his earliest defeat at the Australian Open since he fell in 5 sets to Alexandr Dolgopolov in the 3rd round here in 2011. Tsonga has a 15-9 win-loss record in 5-set matches and a 3-3 win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open.
  • Tsonga is on a 10-match winning streak against American opposition at the Grand Slams. Andy Roddick is the only American to defeat Tsonga at a major – at 2005 Roland Garros and at the 2007 Australian Open.
  • Tsonga’s best Grand Slam result to date is a runner-up finish at the 2008 Australian Open (l. Novak Djokovic). He defeated three Top 10 players (Andy Murray, Richard Gasquet and Rafael Nadal) en route to the final.

 

  • Tsonga warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the quarterfinals at Doha, where he lost to Tomas Berdych in straight sets. He also played a match at the Kooyong Exhibition Event, defeating Borna Coric 63 76.
  • Last year here, Tsonga reached the round of 16 for the 7th time, losing in straight sets to Kei Nishikori.
  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2016, Tsonga reached the quarterfinals at both Wimbledon (l. Murray) and the US Open, where he retired with a left knee injury while trailing Djokovic 63 62. He reached the 3rd round at Roland Garros, where he retired with an adductor injury when leading Ernests Gulbis 5-2 in the first set.
  • Away from the Grand Slams, Tsonga’s best result in 2016 came at Vienna, where he reached the final
    (l. Murray). He also reached the semifinals at Auckland (l. Roberto Bautista Agut) and Monte Carlo-1000
    (l. Gael Monfils). Last year was the first year he did not win a title since 2010.
  • Tsonga is a former Top 5 player. He reached a career-high No. 5 in the world in February 2012 and plays here at No. 12.
  • Tsonga has played Davis Cup for France since 2008. He has played a total of 17 ties, achieving an 18-7 win-loss record in singles and a 24-8 win-loss record overall. France take on Japan at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo in the 2017 World Group first round on 3-5 February.
  • Tsonga is coached by Thierry Ascione.
  • SOCK is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the first time and equal his best Grand Slam result.
  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Sock has recorded his best Australian Open result. He defeated Pierre-Hugues Herbert 64 76(4) 63 and Karen Khachanov 63 64 64 in the opening 2 rounds.

 

  • Sock’s previous best Australian Open result is reaching the 2nd round on his debut here in 2014 (l. Gael Monfils) and in 2016 (l. Lukas Rosol). He missed the 2015 event here after undergoing hip surgery at the end of 2014.

 

  • Sock’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the round of 16 on 2 occasions – at 2015 Roland Garros (l. Rafael Nadal) and at the 2016 US Open (l. today’s opponent). This is his 3rd Australian Open appearance and his 17th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Sock reached the 3rd round at both Roland Garros (l. Albert Ramos-Vinolas) and Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic).

 

  • Sock is bidding to defeat a Top 20 player at a Grand Slam for the 3rd time. His only wins over Top 20 players at the majors came against No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov at 2015 Roland Garros and No. 9 Marin Cilic at the 2016 US Open. He has a 2-6 win-loss record against Top 20 players at the majors overall.

 

  • Sock is on a 4-match Tour-level winning streak against Top 20 opposition. He has not lost to a Top 20 player at Tour-level since losing to today’s opponent at the 2016 US Open [NB. He lost to No. 18 Richard Gasquet at the Hopman Cup].

 

  • Sock is one of 2 Americans through to the 3rd round here along with Sam Querrey. The last time multiple Americans reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open was in 2010, when Andy Roddick reached the quarterfinals and John Isner fell in the round of 16.

 

  • Sock’s best results in 2016 are finishing runner-up at Auckland (l. Roberto Bautista Agut), Houston (l. Juan Monaco) and Stockholm (l. Juan Martin del Potro). He also reached the quarterfinals at Masters-1000 events at Shanghai (l. Gilles Simon) and Paris (l. Isner), and at Washington (l. Ivo Karlovic).

 

  • Sock warmed up for the Australian Open by winning his 2nd career title at Auckland (d. Joao Sousa), adding to his victory at 2015 Houston (d. Querrey). He also represented USA at the Hopman Cup, finishing runner-up to France alongside CoCo Vandeweghe.

 

  • Sock has improved his year-end ranking every year since 2010, finishing 2016 at No. 23. He plays here on a career-high ranking of No. 20 following his title win at Auckland last week.

 

  • Sock is a former Wimbledon men’s doubles champion. He and Vasek Pospisil defeated Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan in the final at 2014 Wimbledon, becoming the first team to win a Grand Slam title in their first tournament together since Lleyton Hewitt/Max Mirnyi won the 2000 US Open. Sock has won a total of 8 career doubles titles with 5 different partners. He also won the mixed doubles title at the 2011 US Open with Melanie Oudin. He did not enter the men’s doubles event here.

 

  • Sock has played Davis Cup since 2015, compiling a 3-2 win-loss record in singles. He helped USA reach the quarterfinals last year, where he recorded his first career-comeback from 0-2 down to defeat Marin Cilic in the 1st rubber before losing to Borna Coric in the decisive 5th rubber in a 3-2 defeat to Croatia in Portland. USA will play Switzerland in the World Group first round in Birmingham on 3-5 February.

 

  • As a junior, Sock won the boys’ singles title at the 2010 US Open (d. Denis Kudla).

 

  • Sock is coached by Troy Hahn and mentored by former world No. 4 James Blake. His fitness trainer is Kyle Wolf.

 

 

 

 

27 BERNARD TOMIC (AUS) v DANIEL EVANS (GBR)

Head-to-head: tied 1-1

2013     US Open                      Hard (O)           R64      Evans             16 63 76(4) 63

2015     Davis Cup (WG-SF)       Hard (I)             R2        Tomic               63 76(2) 67(4) 64

 

A 3rd Tour-level meeting for these 2 players and their 2nd at a Grand Slam. Evans won their only previous meeting at a Grand Slam at the 2013 US Open.

 

                            TOMIC                                         v                                         EVANS

 

24                                          Age                                          26

27                                   ATP Ranking                                   51

3                                          Titles                                          0

39-27                      Career Grand Slam Record                        8-7

17-8                         Australian Open Record                          2-1

161-140                              Career Record                                27-35

116-87                         Career Record – Hard                           19-23

2-1                                   2017 Record                                   6-1

2-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              6-1

8-3                           Career Five-Set Record                           1-4

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

94-78                        Career Tiebreak Record                         17-19

2-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-1

 

  • TOMIC is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the 4th time and equal his best Australian Open result.

 

  • Tomic advanced to the 3rd round here for the 6th time after defeating Thomaz Bellucci 62 61 64 and Victor Estrella Burgos 75 76(4) 46 76(5) in the opening 2 rounds.

 

  • Tomic best Australian Open performance is reaching the round of 16 here in 2012 (l. Roger Federer), 2015 (l. Tomas Berdych) and 2016 (l. Andy Murray). This is his 9th consecutive appearance at the Australian Open and his 29th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Tomic’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the quarterfinals as a qualifier at 2011 Wimbledon (l. Novak Djokovic). He was the youngest man since Boris Becker in 1986 to reach the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Tomic reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon (l. Lucas Pouille) and the 2nd round at Roland Garros (l. Borna Coric), but fell in the 1st round at the US Open (l. Damir Dzumhur). He played just 5 matches after the US Open for the rest of the year after struggling with an ongoing abdominal strain.

 

  • Also in 2016, Tomic finished runner-up at Acapulco (l. Dominic Thiem) and the semifinals at Brisbane and Queen’s, losing to Milos Raonic on both occasions. He reached 5 further quarterfinals at Sydney, Quito, ’s-Hertogenbosch, Cincinnati-1000 and Shenzhen.

 

  • Tomic reached a career-high ranking of No. 17 after reaching the semifinals at 2016 Brisbane. He plays here at No. 27.

 

  • Tomic has won 3 career titles, all of which have come on a hard court – at 2013 Sydney (d. Kevin Anderson) and at Bogota in 2014 (d. Ivo Karlovic) and 2015 (d. Adrian Mannarino).

 

  • Tomic warmed up for the Australian Open at Brisbane where he fell to David Ferrer in the 1st round. He also played at the Sydney Fast4 Exhibition Event, where he defeated Dominic Thiem in the shortened format, and at the Kooyong Exhibition event, falling to David Goffin 62 64 and Gilles Simon 63 in a single set match.

 

  • Tomic is the only Australian man to reach the 3rd round from the 11 Australian men to start the men’s main draw here [NB Written prior to Jordan Thompson’s 2nd round match with Dominic Thiem on Thursday night]. He was also the only Australian man through to the 3rd round here in 2013. He is looking to become the first native champion to win the Australian Open men’s singles title since Mark Edmondson in 1976.

 

  • Tomic is one of the 3 former Australian Open junior singles champions who reached the 3rd round here from the 7 who started in the men’s main draw here [NB Written prior to Marcos Baghdatis’s 2nd round match with Rafael Nadal on Thursday night – if Baghdatis wins, that figure will be 4 of 7]. He won the 2008 Australian Open boys’ title aged 15 years 3 months, defeating Yang Tsung-Hua in the final. He was the youngest winner of the title since Ken Rosewall in 1950. He also won the 2009 US Open boys’ singles title (d. Chase Buchanan). Stefan Edberg is the only player to have won both the junior and senior title here in the Open Era. He captured the boys’ singles title in 1983, before winning the men’s singles in 1985 and 1987.

 

  • Tomic has played Davis Cup for Australia since 2010, compiling a 17-4 singles win-loss record. Australia will play Czech Republic in the World Group first round at Kooyong on 3-5 February.

 

  • Tomic is coached by his father John.

 

  • EVANS is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the first time and record his best Grand Slam result.

 

  • Evans defeated Facundo Bagnis 76(8) 63 61 and No. 7 seed Marin Cilic 36 75 63 63 to record his first Australian Open match-wins. His win over No. 7 Cilic was his career-best win and his first win over a Top 10 player at a major.

 

  • Evans is bidding to become the first British man other than Andy Murray to reach the round of 16 at the Australian Open since Tim Henman in 2002. Kyle Edmund is the last British man other than Murray to reach the round of 16 at a major – at the 2016 US Open.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Evans has equalled his best Grand Slam result. He also reached the 3 round as a qualifier at the US Open in 2013 (l. Tommy Robredo) and as a direct acceptance in 2016 (l. Stan Wawrinka), and as a direct acceptance at 2016 Wimbledon (l. Roger Federer).

 

  • Evans is bidding to record 3 straight Tour-level match-wins for the 3rd time in his career. The only time he has recorded 3 consecutive Tour-level match-wins was in finishing runner-up at 2017 Sydney (l. Gilles Muller) prior to coming here, and in reaching the semifinals at 2014 Zagreb (l. Tommy Haas).

 

  • Last year here on his Australian Open debut as a qualifier, Evans fell to Feliciano Lopez in the 1st round. He lost in the 2nd round of qualifying on both of his 2 other attempts to qualify here – in 2010 and 2014. This is his 2nd Australian Open and his 8th Grand Slam appearance overall.

 

  • Evans’ best Tour-level results in 2016 were reaching the 3rd round at Nottingham (l. Pablo Cuevas), Wimbledon, Washington (l. Jack Sock) and the US Open – the only occasions in which he recorded back-to-back Tour-level match-wins in 2016. He didn’t attempt to qualify at 2016 Roland Garros to focus on the grass season.

 

  • Also in 2016, Evans won Challenger titles at Drummondville (CAN) (d. Edward Corrie), Taipei (TPE) (d. Konstantin Kravchuk) and Aptos (USA) (d. Cameron Norrie) and finished runner-up at Challengers at Dallas (USA) (l. Kyle Edmund) and Busan (KOR) (l. Kravchuk).

 

  • Evans warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching his first Tour-level final at Sydney. He also represented Great Britain at the Hopman Cup, losing to Federer 63 64, Richard Gasquet 64 62 and Alexander Zverev 64 63 in his 3 singles matches in Perth.

 

  • Evans has a 1-4 win-loss record in 5-set matches – losing his only 5-set match at a Grand Slam to Wawrinka at the 2016 US Open despite holding a match point in the 4th set. His other 4 five-set matches have come in Davis Cup, with his only 5-set match-win coming against Martin Klizan Great Britain’s victory over Slovakia in the Europe/Africa Group I first round in 2012.

 

  • Evans has played Davis Cup since 2009 and was part of the British team that reached the World Group semifinals last year. Great Britain will play Canada in the 2017 World Group first round in Ottawa on 3-5 February.

 

  • Evans is coached by Mark Hilton.

 

 

 

STEVE DARCIS (BEL) v ANDREAS SEPPI (ITA)

Head-to-head: first Tour-level meeting

2011     Mons Challenger (BEL)              Hard (I)             QF        Seppi    36 75 60

 

A first Tour-level meeting for the pair.

 

                           DARCIS                                        v                                         SEPPI

 

32                                          Age                                          32

71                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            89

2                                          Titles                                          3

13-25                      Career Grand Slam Record                      47-47

2-5                          Australian Open Record                        14-11

94-102                               Career Record                              311-332

47-55                          Career Record – Hard                         142-176

3-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-0

3-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-0

2-7                           Career Five-Set Record                         21-15

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         5

54-38                        Career Tiebreak Record                       114-148

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-2

 

  • DARCIS is bidding to reach the round of 16 here and record his best Grand Slam result.

 

  • Darcis recorded his first match-wins at the Australian Open after defeating wild card Sam Groth 36 63 62 62 and Diego Schwartzman 63 63 26 64 in the opening 2 rounds here.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Darcis has equalled his best Grand Slam result. He also reached the 3rd round as a qualifier at 2011 Roland Garros (l. Gael Monfils). This is his 6th Australian Open appearance and his 27th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Last year here Darcis lost to Guido Pella in 5-sets in the 1st round. He also fell in the 1st round here in 2008 (l. Lleyton Hewitt), 2009 (l. Sebastien De Chaunac), 2012 (l. Florent Serra) and 2013 (l. Philipp Kohlschreiber). He failed to qualify here in 2006, 2010 and 2015.

 

  • Darcis is bidding to record 3 consecutive match-wins at a Tour-level event for the first time since he defeated Xavier Malisse, Denis Istomin and Andy Roddick to reach the quarterfinals at 2012 Winston-Salem (l. Tomas Berdych).

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Darcis has recorded back-to-back match-wins at Tour-level for the first time since he reached the quarterfinals at 2015 Bastad (l. Pablo Cuevas).

 

  • Darcis contested just 5 Tour-level tournaments in 2016 after missing 3 months of the season from mid-February to May with a wrist injury. His best results were reaching the 2nd round as a qualifier at both Roland Garros (l. Novak Djokovic) and the US Open (l. John Isner) and as a wild card at Antwerp (l. Marius Copil). His only other Tour-level victory in 2016 came against Thomaz Bellucci in Belgium’s 4-0 Davis Cup victory over Brazil in September.

 

  • Also in 2016, Darcis won 3 Challenger titles – at Lyon (FRA) (d. Thiago Monteiro), Trnava (SVK) (d. Jordi Samper-Montana) and Eckental (GER) (d. Alex De Minaur). He finished runner-up in 3 further finals at Blois (FRA) (l. Carlos Berlocq), Liberec (CZE) (l. Arthur De Greef) and Budapest (HUN) (l. Copil).

 

  • Darcis reached a career-high ranking of No. 44 in May 2008. He ended 2016 at No. 86 for the 2nd year in a row but plays here at No. 71.

 

  • Darcis warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the 2nd round at Chennai (d. Nikola Mektic, Albert Ramos-Vinolas). He also reached the semifinals at the Canberra Challenger (AUS) (l. Jan-Lennard Struff).

 

  • Darcis has won 2 career titles – on clay as a qualifier ranked No. 297 at 2007 Amersfoort (d. Werner Eschauer) and on a hard court at 2008 Memphis (d. Robin Soderling).

 

  • Darcis has a 2-7 win-loss record in 5-set matches with his only 5-set wins coming at the US Open – against Dmitry Tursunov in 2011 and Jordan Thompson in 2016. He has lost both of the 2 five-set matches he has played at the Australian Open.

 

  • Darcis is currently playing without a coach.

 

  • SEPPI is bidding to reach the round of 16 here and equal his best Grand Slam performance. He defeated Paul-Henri Mathieu 64 76(4) 67(3) 75 and No. 14 seed Nick Kyrgios 16 67(1) 64 62 10-8, saving a match point, in the opening 2 rounds here.

 

  • Seppi’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the round of 16 on 4 occasions – at 2012 Roland Garros (l. Novak Djokovic), the Australian Open in 2013 (l. Jeremy Chardy) and 2015 (l. Kyrgios), and at 2013 Wimbledon (l. Juan Martin del Potro).

 

  • Seppi’s 2nd round win over Kyrgios here was his 5th career comeback from 0-2 down and his 2nd 0-2 comeback at the Australian Open. He also came back from 0-2 down against Arnaud Clement in the 1st round here in 2011. He has a 22-15 win-loss record in 5-set matches and a 7-4 win-loss record in 5-set matches here.

 

  • Seppi’s opening round win over Mathieu here was his first Tour-level match-win since he reached the quarterfinals at Antwerp (l. Kyle Edmund) in October.

 

  • Last year here Seppi reached the 3rd round, falling to Djokovic 61 75 76(6). This is his 12th Australian Open and his 48th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Seppi reached the 2nd round at both Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic) and the US Open (l. Rafael Nadal) but lost in the 1st round at Roland Garros (l. Ernests Gulbis).

 

  • Seppi’s best result in 2016 was reaching the semifinals at Nottingham (l. Steve Johnson). He reached 4 further quarterfinals – at Sofia (l. Martin Klizan), Nice (l. Dominic Thiem), Halle (l. Florian Mayer) and Antwerp.

 

  • Seppi has won 3 career singles titles – at 2011 Eastbourne (d. Janko Tipsarevic), 2012 Belgrade (d. Benoit Paire) and 2012 Moscow (d. Thomaz Bellucci).

 

  • Seppi reached a career-high ranking of No. 18 after reaching the last 16 of the 2013 Australian Open. He dropped to No. 100 in the rankings on 17 October 2016 – his lowest ranking since July 2007 – but plays here at No. 89.

 

  • Seppi has been coached by Massimo Sartori since 1995.

 

 

 

MISCHA ZVEREV (GER) v MALEK JAZIRI (TUN)

Head-to-head: first Tour-level meeting

2011     Geneva Challenger (SUI)           Hard (O)           FR        Jaziri     46 63 63

2014     Dallas Challenger (USA)            Hard (I)             R32      Jaziri     61 62

 

A first Tour-level meeting for these 2 players. Jaziri won both of their previous encounters at Challenger level.

 

                           ZVEREV                                        v                                         JAZIRI

 

29                                          Age                                          33*

50                                   ATP Ranking                                   56

0                                          Titles                                          0

7-17                       Career Grand Slam Record                       8-13

3-5                          Australian Open Record                          4-2

84-125                               Career Record                                72-82

55-71                          Career Record – Hard                           37-50

4-2                                   2017 Record                                   3-2

4-2                              2017 Record – Hard                              3-2

1-3                           Career Five-Set Record                           4-6

1                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         1

49-54                        Career Tiebreak Record                         23-33

2-3                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-2

                                                                                   *Celebrating his birthday today

 

  • Lefthander ZVEREV is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the first time and record his best Grand Slam result.

 

  • Zverev advanced to the 3rd round on his first appearance here since 2011 after defeating Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 63 76(5) 64 and No. 19 seed John Isner 67(4) 67(4) 64 76(7) 97 in the opening 2 rounds. His 5-set win over Isner in the 2nd round was his first career comeback from 0-2 down and improved his 5-set win-loss record to 2-3. It was his first 5-set match-win since he won his first 5-set match in qualifying at 2007 Wimbledon.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Zverev has equalled his best Grand Slam result. He also reached the 3rd round at 2008 Wimbledon, where he retired with a right hamstring strain while trailing Stan Wawrinka 75 61. This is only the 5th time he has advanced beyond the 1st round at a Grand Slam in 18 appearances at the majors.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Zverev has recorded his best Australian Open result. His previous best performance here was reaching the 2nd round on his debut as a qualifier in 2007 (l. Robby Ginepri). He fell in the 1st round on his 4 other appearances here – in 2008 (l. Tommy Robredo), 2009 (l. Juan Martin del Potro), 2010 (l. Lukasz Kubot) and 2011 (l. Janko Tipsarevic).

 

  • At the Grand Slams in 2016, Zverev reached the 2nd round as a qualifier at the US Open (d. Pierre-Hugues Herbert, l. Jack Sock). It was his first Grand Slam appearance since 2012 Roland Garros and his first Grand Slam match-win since he reached the 2nd round at 2009 Wimbledon (d. Dmitry Tursunov, Philip Petzschner).

 

  • Zverev failed to qualify for the Grand Slams on 11 occasions after his main draw appearance at 2012 Roland Garros before finally qualifying successfully at the 2016 US Open. He has successfully qualified for the majors on just 4 occasions in 21 attempts – including on his debut here in 2007. He failed in his only other attempts to qualify for the Australian Open in 2013, 2014 and 2016.

 

  • Zverev warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the 2nd round at both Brisbane (d. Alex De Minaur, l. Rafael Nadal) and Sydney (d. Nicolas Almagro, l. Pablo Carreno Busta).

 

  • Zverev climbed to No. 50 in the rankings on 9 January 2017 after reaching the 2nd round at Brisbane – his highest ranking since he reached a career-high ranking of No. 48 on 5 October 2009.

 

  • Zverev’s 2016 highlights include reaching the semifinals as a qualifier at Basel (l. Marin Cilic) and the quarterfinals as a qualifier at both Shanghai-1000 (l. Novak Djokovic) and Shenzhen (l. Richard Gasquet). He qualified for 10 Tour-level events in 2016 – the most of any player on record. He also won the title at the Sarasota Challenger (USA) (d. Gerald Melzer).

 

  • Zverev has won 2 career doubles titles – alongside Mikhail Youzhny at 2008 Halle and 2008 Tokyo. He entered the men’s doubles event here with Nenad Zimonjic, defeating Dustin Brown/Albert Ramos-Vinolas 76(5) 62 in the 1st round on Thursday.

 

  • Zverev is coached by his father, Alexander Zverev Sr.

 

  • JAZIRI is bidding to become the first Tunisian player – man or woman – to reach the round of 16 at a Grand Slam.

 

  • Jaziri advanced to the 3rd round after defeating qualifier Go Soeda 63 64 63 and qualifier Alexander Bublik 62 63 75 in the opening 2 rounds here.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Jaziri has equalled his best Grand Slam result. He also reached the 3rd round on his debut here in 2015, when he became just the 2nd Tunisian player – man or woman – to reach this stage at a Grand Slam. Mustapha Belkhodjia is the only other Tunisian player to reach this stage at a major – at Roland Garros in 1961 and 1963 and at 1961 Wimbledon.

 

  • Jaziri is bidding to record 3 straight match-wins at a Tour-level event for the first time since he reached the quarterfinals at 2016 Barcelona (l. Benoit Paire). He has recorded 3 straight wins at Tour-level on just 2 other occasions – in reaching the semifinals at both 2012 Moscow (l. Andreas Seppi) and 2015 Winston Salem (l. Kevin Anderson).

 

  • Jaziri is bidding to defeat a Top 50 opponent at a Grand Slam for the first time, having lost all 8 of his previous meetings with Top 50 opponents at the majors. The highest-ranked player he has defeated at a major is No. 51 Mikhail Kukuskin in the 1st round at the 2015 Australian Open.

 

  • Jaziri has won just one of his last 9 matches against Top 50 opposition. His only win over a Top 50 opponent in that time was at 2016 Shenzhen, where he recorded his career-best win against No. 14 David Goffin.

 

  • Last year here, Jaziri fell to Tommy Robredo in 5-sets in the 1st round. He has a 4-6 win-loss record in 5-set matches, and a 1-1 win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open. This is his 3rd Australian Open appearance and his 14th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Elsewhere at the majors in 2016, Jaziri reached the 2nd round at Roland Garros (d. Florian Mayer, Tomas Berdych) but fell in the 1st round at both Wimbledon (l. Steve Johnson) and the US Open             (l. Ricardas Berankis).

 

  • Jaziri’s best Tour-level results in 2016 were reaching 3 quarterfinals – at Barcelona (l. Paire), Metz (l. Gilles Simon) and Shenzhen (l. Janko Tipsarevic). He also won 3 Challenger titles – at Guadalajara (MEX) (d. Stephane Robert), Le Gosier (GUD) (d. Stefan Kozlov) and Istanbul (TUR) (d. Dudi Sela).

 

  • Jaziri warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the 2nd round at Auckland (d. Diego Schwartzman, l. John Isner) after a 1st round defeat at Doha (l. Philipp Kohlschreiber).

 

  • Jaziri broke into the Top 50 in October 2016 after reaching the quarterfinals at Shenzhen, becoming the first Arab player in 12 years to be ranked in the world’s Top 50. He reached a career-high ranking of No. 49 a week later after reaching the 2nd round at Beijing (d. Guido Pella, l. Milos Raonic), but plays here at No. 56.

 

  • Jaziri entered the men’s doubles event here with Stephane Robert. The pair lost to No. 9 seeds Ivan Dodig/Marcel Granollers 63 64 in the 1st round.

 

  • Jaziri has played on Tunisia’s Davis Cup team since 2000 and is the nation’s most successful singles player with a 27-14 win-loss record. He played 15 sets (the maximum possible for one individual) in Tunisia’s Europe/Africa Zone Group II 1st round defeat to Bosnia/Herzegovina last year, but helped his nation remain in Group II with a 3-2 victory over Bulgaria. Tunisia will play Sweden in the Europe/Africa Zone Group II first round on 3-5 February.

 

  • Jaziri was a member of the 1998 African 14 & Under ITF Touring Team in Europe, funded by the Grand Slam Development Fund. He was awarded a GSDF travel grant in 2001 and 2002 to play junior world ranking events. He didn’t contest any junior Grand Slams.

 

Jaziri is currently playing without a coach.

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2017 Australian Open – Day 3 Men’s Preview

 

2017 AUSTRALIAN OPEN

DAY 3 MEN’S NOTES

Wednesday 18 January

2nd Round Top Half

 

Stan Wawrinka

Featured matches

 

No. 1 Andy Murray (GBR) v (Q) Andrey Rublev (RUS)

No. 4 Stan Wawrinka (SUI) v Steve Johnson (USA)

No. 5 Kei Nishikori (JPN) v Jeremy Chardy (FRA)

No. 7 Marin Cilic (CRO) v Daniel Evans (GBR)

No. 10 Tomas Berdych (CZE) v Ryan Harrison (USA)

No. 14 Nick Kyrgios (AUS) v Andreas Seppi (ITA)

No. 17 Roger Federer (SUI) v (Q) Noah Rubin (USA)

No. 27 Bernard Tomic (AUS) v Victor Estrella Burgos (DOM)

No. 31 Sam Querrey (USA) v (WC) Alex De Minaur (AUS)

 

On court today…

 

  • Andy Murray could reach a Grand Slam match-wins milestone today. A victory over qualifier Andrey Rublev would see the 3-time Grand Slam champion record his 178th match-win at the majors and equal Stefan Edberg in 8th place on the list for the most Grand Slam match-wins in the Open Era. World No. 156 Rublev, who recorded his first career victory at a major in the first round here, will be hoping to make life difficult for the world No. 1 as he looks to become the lowest-ranked player to defeat Murray at Tour-level.

 

  • Roger Federer is looking to maintain his record of always having reached the 3rd round here when he takes on qualifier Noah Rubin. World No. 200 Rubin faces a daunting task – the Swiss has not lost in the 2nd round at a major since falling to Sergiy Stakhovsky at 2013 Wimbledon.

 

  • Kei Nishikori lives to fight another day after being taken to 5 sets by Andrey Kuznetsov in his opening round here. The world No. 5, who has a perfect 4-0 win-loss record in 5-set matches at Melbourne Park, will hope for a smoother ride against Jeremy Chardy as he aims to record a 4th straight victory over the Frenchman and earn a place in the 3rd round for the 7th year in a row.

 

  • Alex De Minaur will hope to continue his dream Grand Slam debut when he takes on Sam Querrey for a place in the 3rd round. Aged 17 years 347 days, De Minaur will become the youngest man to reach the 3rd round at a Grand Slam since Rafael Nadal (17 years 243 days) at the 2004 Australian Open if he can find a way past the big-serving American.

 

 1 ANDY MURRAY (GBR) v (Q) ANDREY RUBLEV (RUS)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

Murray has never lost to a player ranked as low as No. 156 Rublev at Tour-level, with his worst Tour-level defeat coming against No. 154 Jean-Rene Lisnard at 2006 AMS Monte Carlo.

 

The lowest-ranked player to defeat Murray at a Grand Slam is No. 91 Arnaud Clement at the 2005 US Open – the only qualifier to have defeated Murray at a major. Murray has a 10-1 win-loss record against qualifiers at the majors overall.

 

MURRAY                                       v                                        RUBLEV

 

29                                          Age                                          19

1                             ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            156

44                                         Titles                                          0

177-40                     Career Grand Slam Record                        1-1

46-11                        Australian Open Record                          1-0

635-175                              Career Record                                13-19

427-114                        Career Record – Hard                           10-12

5-1                                   2017 Record                                   1-0

5-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              1-0

23-9                          Career Five-Set Record                           0-0

9                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

184-107                      Career Tiebreak Record                          6-8

4-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-0

 

  • 5-time Australian Open runner-up MURRAY is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 9th straight year. He defeated Illya Marchenko 75 76(5) 62 in the 1st round. He is contesting his 12th straight Australian Open and 44th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Murray is bidding to record his 178th Grand Slam match-win today and equal Stefan Edberg (178-47) in 8th place on the Open Era list for the most Grand Slam match-wins (see Preview page 5).

 

  • Murray is bidding to extend his 12-match winning streak against qualifiers at Tour-level. He has not lost to a qualifier at Tour-level since falling to Santiago Giraldo at 2014 Madrid-1000.

 

  • Murray is looking to become the first man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after losing 5 finals at any one Grand Slam. He finished as runner-up to Roger Federer here in 2010, and to Novak Djokovic in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016. Djokovic and Federer (at Roland Garros), Goran Ivanisevic (at Wimbledon) and Ivan Lendl (at the US Open), are the only players in the Open Era to lose 3 Grand Slam finals at one major before winning the title.

 

  • Murray is looking to win the title here and avoid becoming the first man in the Open Era to lose 6 Grand Slam finals at any one major. Lendl, is the only other man to have lost 5 finals at any one Grand Slam event – losing in the title match at the US Open in 1982-84 and 1988-89, but winning the tournament in 1985-87.

 

  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2016, Murray won his 3rd Grand Slam title and 2nd at Wimbledon, defeating Milos Raonic in the final. It was 11th Grand Slam final, but the first in which he had faced an opponent other than Djokovic or Federer. He also became the 3rd British man – and first since Bunny Austin in 1937 – to reach the Roland Garros final (l. Djokovic) but fell to Kei Nishikori in 5 sets in the quarterfinals at the US Open.

 

  • Also in 2016, Murray became the first player in history to successfully defend an Olympic singles gold medal after defeating Juan Martin del Potro in the final at Rio 2016. He won a career-best 9 Tour-level titles – including his first at the year-end ATP World Tour Finals, where he became the 17th man to secure the year-end No. 1 ranking after defeating Djokovic in the final. Two weeks earlier, he had become the 26th man to attain the world No. 1 ranking after reaching the final at Paris-1000.

 

  • Murray warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the final as No. 1 seed at Doha – his 13th final in his last 14 tournaments. He saw his 28-match Tour-level winning streak ended by Djokovic as the Serb won 63 57 64.

 

  • Murray is one of 6 Grand Slam champions who started in the men’s main draw here. Murray won the 2012 US Open title (d. Djokovic) and became the first British man to win the Wimbledon singles title in 77 years in 2013 (d. Djokovic) before winning the title again in 2016.

 

  • Murray was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s 2017 New Year’s Honours list.

 

  • Murray has played Davis Cup since 2005 and has a 30-3 singles win-loss record in the competition in 20 ties played, leading Great Britain to its first title since 1936 in 2015. Great Britain will face Canada in the World Group first round in Ottawa on 3-5 February.

 

  • Murray is coached by Ivan Lendl, who won the Australian Open in 1989 and 1990, and former world No. 121 Jamie Delgado.

 

  • Qualifier RUBLEV is bidding to reach the 3rd round on his Australian Open debut.

 

  • Rublev recorded his first Grand Slam match-win by defeating Yen-Hsun Lu 46 63 76(0) 63 in the 1st round here.

 

  • Rublev defeated Max Purcell (AUS) 64 67(6) 61, Yuichi Sugita (JPN) 64 76(2) and Peter Polansky (CAN) 64 46 63 in the 3 rounds of qualifying here. It was his first attempt to qualify for the Australian Open.

 

  • This is Rublev’s 2nd Grand Slam appearance. He fell in the 1st round in his only other appearance at a major as a qualifier at the 2015 US Open (l. Kevin Anderson). He failed to qualify in his 4 other attempts to qualify for a Grand Slam – at Wimbledon in 2015 and 2016, and at both Roland Garros and the US Open in 2016.

 

  • Rublev is bidding to record back-to-back match-wins at a Tour-level event for the first time. As well as reaching the 2nd round here, his career-best Tour-level results are reaching the 2nd round as a wild card at Delray Beach, Miami-1000, Istanbul, Geneva and Valencia in 2015, as a qualifier at 2015 Barcelona and as a wild card at both 2016 Chennai and 2016 St. Petersburg.

 

  • Rublev’s 1st round win over Lu here was his first Tour-level match-win since he reached the 2nd round at St. Petersburg in September (l. Joao Sousa), when Mikhail Kukushkin retired with a right arm injury with Rublev leading 63 4-1. Rublev won just 2 other Tour-level matches in 2016 – reaching the 2nd round as a wild card at Chennai (d. Somdev Devvarman, l. Stan Wawrinka) and defeating Robin Haase in Russia’s 4-1 Davis Cup victory over Netherlands in September.

 

  • Rublev won his first Challenger title in his first final in 2016 as a qualifier at Quimper (FRA) (d. Paul-Henri Mathieu) and ended his season with a runner-up finish at the Mouilleron Le Captif Challenger (FRA) (d. Julien Benneteau). He also reached the semifinals at the Orleans Challenger (FRA) (l. Norbert Gombos).

 

  • Rublev is bidding to defeat a Top 30 player at any level for the first time. The highest-ranked player he has defeated is No. 32 Pablo Andujar in the 5th rubber during Russia’s 3-2 Davis Cup victory over Spain in the 2015 World Group play-offs. The highest-ranked player he has faced is No. 4 Stan Wawrinka at 2016 Chennai, where he fell 63 62.

 

  • Rublev plays here on a career-high ranking of No. 152.

 

  • Rublev is a former junior world No.1 having topped the boys’ rankings for the first time in June 2014 after winning the boys’ singles title at 2014 Roland Garros. He finished runner-up in the boys’ doubles with Stefan Kozlov at 2014 Wimbledon and won two medals at the Youth Olympic Tennis Event in Nanjing later that year, winning boys’ singles bronze and boys’ doubles silver with Karen Khachanov. He was named 2014 ITF Junior World Champion.

 

  • Rublev has played Davis Cup for Russia since 2014, compiling a 4-2 win-loss record in singles and 4-0 in doubles. He helped Russia earn promotion back to the 2017 World Group, where they will play Serbia in Nis in the first round on 3-5 February.
  • Rublev is coached by Sergey Tarasevich.

 

 

 

 

 4 STAN WAWRINKA (SUI) v STEVE JOHNSON (USA)

Head-to-head: Wawrinka leads 1-0

2015     Roland Garros               Clay (O)            R32      Wawrinka          64 63 62

 

A 2nd career – and Grand Slam meeting – between these 2 players, but their first meeting on a hard court.

 

WAWRINKA                                     v                                       JOHNSON

 

31                                          Age                                          27

4                             ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            30

15                                         Titles                                          1

120-44                     Career Grand Slam Record                      15-18

32-10                        Australian Open Record                          5-4

442-253                              Career Record                                96-96

246-141                        Career Record – Hard                           70-66

3-1                                   2017 Record                                   4-2

3-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              4-2

25-19                         Career Five-Set Record                           4-6

6                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         2

181-172                      Career Tiebreak Record                         55-63

1-2                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            2-0

 

  • 2014 Australian Open champion WAWRINKA is looking to reach the 3rd round here for the 9th straight year. This is his 12th Australian Open appearance and his 48th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Wawrinka advanced to the 2nd round after defeating Martin Klizan 46 64 75 46 64 in the 1st round on Monday. The victory improved his overall 5-set win-loss record to 25-19, and to 2-3 in 5-set matches at the Australian Open.

 

  • Wawrinka has lost in the 2nd round at the Australian Open twice before – on his debut in 2006
    (l. David Nalbandian) and in 2008 (l. Marc Gicquel), the only occasions in which he has lost before the 3rd round in his 11 previous appearances here.

 

  • Last year here as No. 4 seed, Wawrinka fell to Milos Raonic 64 63 57 46 63 in the round of 16.

 

  • Wawrinka’s best Australian Open result is winning the title in his first Grand Slam final in 2014 (d. Rafael Nadal 63 62 36 63). He was the first player to defeat the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds en route to a Grand Slam title since Sergei Bruguera won 1993 Roland Garros.

 

  • Wawrinka has won 3 Grand Slam titles at 3 different majors. He also won 2015 Roland Garros and the 2016 US Open, defeating Djokovic in both finals. In Paris, he became the 2nd Swiss player – man or woman – in history to win Roland Garros. At 30 years 71 days, he was the oldest man to win in Paris since Andres Gomez in 1990. At the US Open, aged 31 years 167 days, he became the oldest US Open champion since Ken Rosewall in 1970 and just the 5th man to win multiple Grand Slam titles after turning 30. He is one of 6 Grand Slam champions who started in the men’s draw here.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Wawrinka reached the semfinals at Roland Garros (l. Andy Murray) but fell in the 2nd round at Wimbledon (l. Juan Martin del Potro).

 

  • In 2016, Wawrinka won a career-best 4 titles for the 2nd straight year. As well as winning the US Open, he won his 3rd straight title at Chennai (d. Borna Coric) and won the titles at Dubai (d. Marcos Baghdatis) and Geneva (d. Marin Cilic). He also finished runner-up at St. Petersburg (l. Alexander Zverev).

 

  • Wawrinka warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the semifinals as No. 2 seed at Brisbane, where he fell to Kei Nishikori 76(3) 63.

 

  • Wawrinka is coached by Magnus Norman, who reached the semifinals here in 2000.

 

  • JOHNSON is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 3rd straight year and equal his best Australian Open result.

 

  • Johnson advanced to the 2nd round here after defeating Federico Delbonis 63 63 64 in the 1st round on Monday.

 

  • Johnson’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the 3rd round in 2015 (l. Kei Nishikori) and 2016 (l. David Ferrer). This is his 5th Australian Open appearance and his 19th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Johnson’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the round of 16 at 2016 Wimbledon (l. Roger Federer). Elsewhere at the majors last year, he reached the 2nd round at the US Open (l. Juan Martin del Potro) but fell in the 1st round at Roland Garros (l. Fernando Verdasco).

 

  • Johnson is bidding to defeat a Top 10 opponent for the 3rd time. His career-best wins came against No. 10 Richard Gasquet at 2016 Queen’s and No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at 2016 Cincinnati-1000. He has a 2-16 win-loss record against Top 10 opposition overall. The highest-ranked player he has defeated at a Grand Slam is No. 24 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in 5-sets in the 1st round at 2015 Roland Garros.

 

  • Johnson has lost both of the 2 five-set matches he has played here, falling in 5-sets in the 1st round in 2013 (l. Nicolas Almagro) and 2014 (l. Adrian Mannarino). He has a 4-6 win-loss record in 5-set matches overall.

 

  • Johnson’s best result in 2016 was winning his first Tour-level title at Nottingham (d. Pablo Cuevas). He also reached the semifinals at Washington (l. Ivo Karlovic), reaching a career-high ranking of No. 21 afterwards, and 4 further quarterfinals. He plays here ranked No. 30.

 

  • Johnson won the men’s doubles bronze medal alongside Jack Sock at the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis Event after the pair defeated Daniel Nestor/Vasek Pospisil in the play-off for 3rd place. He also reached the quarterfinals of the singles event, narrowly missing the chance to play for a medal after losing to Andy Murray in a decisive set tiebreak.

 

  • Johnson won his first Tour-level doubles title in 2016, winning the title at Geneva alongside Sam Querrey (d. Raven Klaasen/Rajeev Ram).

 

  • Prior to coming here, Johnson reached the semifinals at Auckland (l. Sock) after a 1st round defeat at Brisbane (l. Grigor Dimitrov).

 

  • Johnson has played one Davis Cup tie for USA, helping them to a 3-1 victory over Uzbekistan in the 2015 World Group play-offs. USA will host Switzerland in the World Group first round in Birmingham on 3-5 February.

 

  • Johnson played college tennis. He was NCAA singles champion in 2011 and 2012, and became the first player in NCAA history to lead his school, USC, to a 4 consecutive NCAA team titles.

 

  • Johnson is coached by Craig Boynton.

 

 

 

 

  1. 5 KEI NISHIKORI (JPN) v JEREMY CHARDY (FRA)

Head-to-head: Nishikori leads 4-2

2011     Miami-1000                   Hard (O)           R128    Nishikori           76(5) 62

2012     Acapulco                      Clay (O)            R16      Chardy              16 76(8) 60

2013     Rome-1000                   Clay (O)            R32      Chardy             64 61

2014     Tokyo                           Hard (O)           QF        Nishikori           64 62

2015     Paris-1000                     Hard (I)             R32      Nishikori           76(4) 67(6) 61

2016     Barcelona                     Clay (O)            R16      Nishikori           63 75

 

A 7th encounter for the pair, who have met once a year in each of the past 6 years, but their first at a Grand Slam.

 

Nishikori has won all 3 of their previous meetings on a hard court.

 

NISHIKORI                                      v                                        CHARDY

 

27                                          Age                                          29

5                                    ATP Ranking                                   72

11                                         Titles                                          1

61-28                      Career Grand Slam Record                      46-35

21-7                         Australian Open Record                         10-8

305-143                              Career Record                              208-211

215-100                        Career Record – Hard                         108-118

4-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-2

4-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-2

15-5                          Career Five-Set Record                          10-3

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         1

91-64                        Career Tiebreak Record                       103-115

1-1                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-1

 

  • NISHIKORI is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 7th straight year. This is his 8th Australian Open appearance and his 30th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Nishikori advanced to the 2nd round after defeating Andrey Kuznetsov 57 61 64 67(6) 62 in the 1st round on Monday. The victory maintained Nishikori’s record of never having lost a 5-set match at the Australian Open. He has 4-0 win-loss record in 5-set matches here and a 15-5 record in 5-set matches overall.

 

  • Nishikori’s best result here is reaching the quarterfinals in 2012 (l. Andy Murray), 2015 (l. Stan Wawrinka) and 2016 (l. Novak Djokovic). He is the only Japanese man to reach the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park in the Open Era.

 

  • At the 2014 US Open, Nishikori became the first Asian male to contest a Grand Slam final after defeating three Top 10 players – Milos Raonic, Wawrinka and Djokovic – in consecutive matches before falling to Marin Cilic in the title match.

 

  • In Grand Slam play last year Nishikori reached the semifinals at the US Open (l. Wawrinka), the quarterfinals here and the round of 16 at both Roland Garros (l. Richard Gasquet) and Wimbledon, where he retired with a rib injury while trailing Cilic 61 5-1.

 

  • Nishikori’s best result in 2016 was winning his 4th straight title at Memphis (d. Taylor Fritz), joining Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic as the only active players to have won 4 consecutive titles at a single Tour-level event. He finished runner-up at 4 further tournaments at Miami-1000 (l. Djokovic), Barcelona (l. Nadal), Toronto-1000 (l. Djokovic) and Basel (l. Cilic). He also won singles bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis Event after defeating Rafael Nadal in the 3rd place play-off.

 

  • Nishikori warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the final at Brisbane, where he fell to Grigor Dimitrov.

 

  • Nishikori is the highest-ranked Japanese man in ATP World Tour Rankings history (since 1973). He had the nickname ‘Project 45’ as a major goal was to get him to No. 45 in the rankings, which would be one spot better than the highest by any Japanese man (Shuzo Matsuoka).

 

  • Nishikori plays here seeded No. 5 – his joint-highest seeding at the Australian Open. He was also seeded No. 5 here in 2015.

 

  • Nishikori is coached by Dante Bottini and Michael Chang. Chang finished as runner-up at the 1996 Australian Open, losing in the final to Boris Becker.

 

  • CHARDY is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 3rd time. This is his 9th consecutive appearance at Melbourne Park and his 36th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Chardy progressed to the 2nd round after Nicolas Almagro retired with a calf strain while trailing 4-0 in their 1st round match on Monday.
  • Last year here, as No. 30 seed, Chardy lost in the 2nd round to Andrey Kuznetsov.
  • Also at the Grand Slams in 2016, Chardy reached the 3rd round at Roland Garros (l. Stan Wawrinka), but fell in the 2nd round at both Wimbledon (l. Steve Johnson) and the US Open (l. Grigor Dimitrov).
  • Chardy’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the quarterfinals here in 2013 (l. Andy Murray). He upset 7th-ranked Juan Martin del Potro in 5 sets in the 3rd round – one of his 3 career victories against Top 10 opposition at the Grand Slams. He also defeated No. 7 David Nalbandian at 2008 Roland Garros and No. 8 David Ferrer at the 2015 US Open. He has a 3-13 win-loss record against Top 10 opposition at the majors overall.
  • Chardy’s highlights in 2016 were reaching 4 Tour-level quarterfinals – at Doha (l. Illya Marchenko), Sydney (l. Gilles Muller), Delray Beach (l. Del Potro) and Umag (l. Carlos Berlocq).
  • Chardy warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the quarterfinals at Auckland (l. Jack Sock) after a 1st round defeat to Murray at Doha.
  • Chardy has won 6 of his last 7 five-set matches. His only defeat in that time came in his most recent 5-set match against Grigor Dimitrov in the 2nd round at the 2016 US Open. He has a 2-1 win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open and a 10-3 win-loss record in 5-set matches overall.
  • Chardy had a successful junior career. He won the boys’ singles at 2005 Wimbledon (d. Robin Haase) and also finished runner-up at the 2005 US Open. He achieved a career-high junior ranking of No. 3 in September 2005.
  • Chardy is coached by Magnus Tideman. His fitness trainer is Frederic Lefevre and his physio is Jean Jacques Peyroutou.

 

 

  1. 7 MARIN CILIC (CRO) v DANIEL EVANS (GBR)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

Cilic has not lost to a player ranked as low as No. 51 Evans at the Australian Open since falling to No. 126 Ilija Bozoljac on his debut here as a qualifier in 2007.

 

CILIC                                          v                                         EVANS

 

28                                          Age                                          26

7                             ATP Ranking (16 Jun)                            51

16                                         Titles                                          0

84-34                      Career Grand Slam Record                        7-7

20-8                         Australian Open Record                          1-1

392-211                              Career Record                                26-35

251-123                        Career Record – Hard                           18-23

1-1                                   2017 Record                                   5-1

1-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              5-1

25-12                         Career Five-Set Record                           1-4

5                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

144-128                      Career Tiebreak Record                         17-19

0-1                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-1

 

  • CILIC is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 7th time. He advanced to the 2nd round by defeating Jerzy Janowicz 46 46 62 62 63 in the 1st round on Monday.

 

  • Cilic’s 5-set win over Janowicz in the 1st round here was his 5th career comeback from 0-2 down and improved his 5-set win-loss record to 6-2 at Melbourne Park and 25-12 overall. It was his first 0-2 comeback since Croatia’s 2014 Davis Cup Europe/Africa 2nd round tie with Poland, when he also defeated Janowicz.

 

  • Cilic is making his 9th Australian Open appearance and his 37th at a Grand Slam Last year here he fell to Roberto Bautista Agut in the 3rd round.

 

  • Cilic won his first major title at the 2014 US Open, defeating Kei Nishikori in the final. He was the first Croatian to win a Grand Slam title since Goran Ivanisevic at 2001 Wimbledon. He is one of the 6 Grand Slam champions who started in the men’s main draw here.

 

  • Cilic’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the semifinals as No. 14 seed here in 2010 (l. Andy Murray). He is the only Croatian man to reach the Australian Open semifinals in the history of the championships. He broke into the Top 10 for the first time as a result.

 

  • Cilic warmed up for the Australian Open at Chennai, where he fell to Jozef Kovalik in the 2nd round after receiving a 1st round bye.

 

  • In Grand Slam play in 2016, Cilic reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon for the 3rd straight year, falling to Roger Federer despite holding a 2-0 lead. He reached the 3rd round at both the Australian Open and the US Open (l. Jack Sock), but fell in the 1st round at Roland Garros (l. Marco Trungelliti) – his first loss in the 1st round at a major since 2011 Wimbledon.

 

  • Cilic’s best result in 2016 was winning his first Masters-1000 title at Cincinnati (d. Murray), where he extended his streak of winning at least one title every year since winning his first at 2008 New Haven. He also won the title at Basel (d. Nishikori) and finished runner-up at both Marseille (l. Nick Kyrgios) and Geneva (l. Stan Wawrinka). He reached 3 further semifinals at Queen’s, Tokyo and Paris-1000.

 

  • Cilic compiled an 8-3 win-loss record in Davis Cup rubbers to help Croatia reach its 2nd Final in 2016. He was just a set away from clinching the title for Croatia in the fourth rubber, before Juan Martin del Potro recovered to win in 5 sets as Argentina went on to complete a 3-2 comeback victory in the Final in Zagreb. Croatia will host Spain in the Davis Cup World Group first round in Osijek on 3-5 February.

 

  • Cilic is coached by Jonas Bjorkman, who reached the singles quarterfinals here in 1998 and 2002 and won the doubles title in 1998, 1999 and 2001.

 

  • EVANS is bidding to reach the 3rd round here and equal his best Grand Slam result.

 

  • Evans defeated Facundo Bagnis 76(8) 63 61 in the 1st round to record his first Australian Open match-win.

 

  • Evans’ best Grand Slam result is reaching the 3rd round on 3 occasions – as a qualifier at the US Open in 2013 (l. Tommy Robredo) and as a direct acceptance in 2016 (l. Stan Wawrinka), and as a direct acceptance at 2016 Wimbledon (l. Roger Federer).

 

  • Last year here on his Australian Open debut as a qualifier, Evans fell to Feliciano Lopez in the 1st round. He lost in the 2nd round of qualifying on both of his 2 other attempts to qualify here in 2010 and 2014. This is his 2nd Australian Open and his 8th Grand Slam appearance overall.

 

  • Evans’ best Tour-level results in 2016 were reaching the 3rd round at Nottingham (l. Pablo Cuevas), Wimbledon, Washington (l. Jack Sock) and the US Open – the only occasions in which he recorded back-to-back Tour-level match-wins in 2016. He didn’t attempt to qualify at 2016 Roland Garros to focus on the grass season.

 

  • Also in 2016, Evans won Challenger titles at Drummondville (CAN) (d. Edward Corrie), Taipei (TPE) (d. Konstantin Kravchuk) and Aptos (USA) (d. Cameron Norrie) and finished runner-up at Challengers at Dallas (USA) (l. Kyle Edmund) and Busan (KOR) (l. Kravchuk).

 

  • Evans warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching his first Tour-level final at Sydney (l. Gilles Muller). He also represented Great Britain at the Hopman Cup, losing to Federer 63 64, Richard Gasquet 64 62 and Alexander Zverev 64 63 in his 3 singles matches in Perth.

 

  • Evans is bidding to defeat a Top 10 player for the 2nd time. He recorded his first career victory over a Top 10 player by defeating No. 8 Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals at 2016 Sydney, ending a 4-match losing streak against Top 10 opposition.

 

  • Evans has a 1-4 win-loss record in 5-set matches – losing his only 5-set match at a Grand Slam to Wawrinka at the 2016 US Open despite holding a match point in the 4th set. His other 4 five-set matches have come in Davis Cup, with his only 5-set match-win coming against Martin Klizan Great Britain’s victory over Slovakia in the Europe/Africa Group I first round in 2012.

 

  • Evans has played Davis Cup since 2009 and was part of the British team that reached the World Group semifinals last year. Great Britain will play Canada in the 2017 World Group first round in Ottawa on 3-5 February.

 

  • Evans is coached by Mark Hilton.

 

 

10 TOMAS BERDYCH (CZE) v RYAN HARRISON

Head-to-head: Berdych leads 1-0

2016     Toronto-1000     Hard (O)           R16      Berdych            64 67(2) 64

 

Berdych has not lost to a player ranked as low as No. 82 Harrison at a Grand Slam since falling to No. 109 Gael Monfils in 5 sets in the 1st round at 2013 Roland Garros.

 

                         BERDYCH                                      v                                      HARRISON

 

31                                          Age                                          24

10                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            82

13                                         Titles                                          0

131-52                     Career Grand Slam Record                       9-20

39-13                        Australian Open Record                          2-6

585-304                              Career Record                               76-107

365-193                        Career Record – Hard                           58-76

4-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-1

4-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-1

20-8                          Career Five-Set Record                           0-3

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

201-165                      Career Tiebreak Record                         40-49

2-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-1

 

  • BERDYCH is bidding to reach the 3rd round at the Australian Open for the 7th straight year. He advanced to the 2nd round after Luca Vanni retired with a groin strain after Berdych had won the first set 61.

 

  • Last year here Berdych reached the quarterfinals for the 6th consecutive year, falling to Roger Federer 76(4) 62 64.

 

  • Berdych’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the semifinals in 2014 (l. Stan Wawrinka) and 2015 (l. Andy Murray). By reaching the semifinals here in 2014, he became the 2nd Czech man in the Open Era after Ivan Lendl to complete a set of Grand Slam semifinal appearances.

 

  • Berdych’s best result at a major is finishing runner-up at 2010 Wimbledon. He defeated Federer in the quarterfinals and Novak Djokovic in the semifinals before losing to Rafael Nadal in the final.

 

  • Berdych warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the semfinals at Doha (l. Murray).

 

  • Berdych’s best result in 2016 was winning his 13th career title at Shenzhen (d. Richard Gasquet). 9 of his 13 titles have come on a hard court. He also reached the semifinals at Doha (l. Djokovic), Marseille (l. Nick Kyrgios), Wimbledon (l. Murray) and St. Petersburg (l. Alexander Zverev) and 7 further quarterfinals.

 

  • In Grand Slam play in 2016 Berdych reached the semifinals at Wimbledon and the quarterfinals at both the Australian Open and Roland Garros (l. Djokovic). He missed the US Open with appendicitis, ending his run of 52 consecutive Grand Slam appearances.

 

  • This is Berdych’s 14th consecutive Australian Open appearance and his 53rd Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Berdych dropped to No. 11 in the rankings on 31 October 2016 – the first time he had been out of the Top 10 since June 2010. He has been seeded at every Grand Slam event he has played since the 2005 US Open and plays here – ranked and seeded – at No. 10.

 

  • Berdych started working with Goran Ivanisevic in August 2016. He is also coached by Luka Kutanjac.
  • HARRISON is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the first time and equal his best Grand Slam result. This is his 7th Australian Open appearance and his 21st Grand Slam overall.

 

  • By defeating Nicolas Mahut 63 64 62 in the first round here, Harrison has equalled his best Australian Open performance. He also reached the 2nd round here in 2013 (d. Santiago Giraldo, l. Novak Djokovic).

 

  • Harrison’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the 3rd round as a qualifier at the 2016 US Open (l. Marcos Baghdatis). He recorded a career-best win – and his 2nd career victory over a Top 10 opponent – by defeating No. 6 Milos Raonic in the 2nd round. His only other win against a Top 10 player came against No. 10 Grigor Dimitrov at 2015 Acapulco. He has a 2-26 win-loss record against Top 10 opposition overall.

 

  • Also at the Grand Slams in 2016, Harrison fell to Andrey Kuznetsov in the first round here, and failed to qualify at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

 

  • Harrison is bidding to record back-to-back Tour-level match-wins for the first time since the 2016 US Open. He recorded back-to-back Tour-level match-wins on just 2 other occasions in 2016, reaching the 3rd round as a qualifier at both Washington (l. Steve Johnson) and Toronto-1000 (l. today’s opponent).

 

  • Prior to coming here, Harrison reached the 2nd round as a qualifier at Auckland (l. Jack Sock). He lost in the 1st round of qualifying at Brisbane.

 

  • Harrison reached the semifinals of the boys’ singles at the 2008 Australian Open. He was also a quarterfinalist in the boys’ singles at the 2005 US Open and reached a career-high junior ranking of No. 7.

 

  • Harrison is coached by Peter Lucassen.

 

 

 

 

 14 NICK KYRGIOS (AUS) v ANDREAS SEPPI (ITA)

Head-to-head: Kyrgios leads 2-0

2014     US Open                      Hard (O)           R64      Kyrgios             64 76(2) 64

2015     Australian Open            Hard (O)           R16      Kyrgios             57 46 63 76(5) 86

 

A 3rd career meeting for the pair. Both of their previous meetings have come at a Grand Slam, with Kyrgios winning on each occasion.

 

The last time the pair met, in the round of 16 here in 2015, Kyrgios recovered from 0-2 down for the 2nd time in his career to reach the quarterfinals here for the first time.

 

Kyrgios has only once lost to a player ranked outside the Top 30 at a Grand Slam – when he retired with a right hip injury while trailing Illya Marchenko 46 64 61 in the 3rd round at the 2016 US Open.

 

                          KYRGIOS                                       v                                         SEPPI

 

21                                          Age                                          32

13                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            89

3                                          Titles                                          3

26-14                      Career Grand Slam Record                      46-47

8-3                          Australian Open Record                        13-11

76-45                                Career Record                              310-332

44-25                          Career Record – Hard                         141-176

1-0                                   2017 Record                                   1-0

1-0                              2017 Record – Hard                              1-0

4-1                           Career Five-Set Record                         20-15

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         4

52-38                        Career Tiebreak Record                       114-147

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-1

 

  • KYRGIOS is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 3rd straight year. He defeated Gastao Elias 61 62 62 in the 1st round. This is his 4th Australian Open appearance and his 15th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Last year here Kyrgios reached the 3rd round, falling to Tomas Berdych. Elsewhere at the majors in 2016, he reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon (l. Andy Murray) and the 3rd round at both Roland Garros
    (l. Richard Gasquet) and the US Open, where he retired with a right hip injury while trailing Illya Marchenko 46 64 61.

 

  • At the 2015 Australian Open aged 19 years 280 days, Kyrgios equalled his best Grand Slam result by reaching the quarterfinals (l. Murray). He became the youngest man to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals since Andrei Cherkasov in 1990. He was the first Australian to reach the last 8 at the Australian Open since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005 and only the 3rd Australian man to reach the quarterfinals here as a teenager after Brad Drewett and Pat Cash.
  • Kyrgios also reached the quarterfinals at 2014 Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic). Ranked No. 144, he defeated world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the round of 16 to become the lowest-ranked player to defeat a world No. 1 at a Grand Slam since No. 193 Andrei Olhovskiy defeated Jim Courier in the 3rd round at 1992 Wimbledon.

 

  • Kyrgios won his first 3 career titles in 2016 – winning at Marseille (d. Marin Cilic), Atlanta (d. John Isner) and Tokyo (d. David Goffin) to become the first Australian to win 3 or more titles in a year since Lleyton Hewitt in 2004. He reached 3 further semifinals – at Dubai, Miami-1000 and Estoril – and climbed to a career-high ranking of No. 13 on 24 October. He plays here at No. 13.

 

  • Prior to coming here, Kyrgios played at the Hopman Cup, where he defeated Feliciano Lopez 63 64 and Adam Pavlasek 75 64 before falling to Jack Sock 62 62.

 

  • Kyrgios is one of the 6 former Australian Open junior singles champions to reach the 2nd round here from the 7 who started in the men’s main draw. Kyrgios won the junior title in 2013, defeating compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis in the final.

 

  • Kyrgios was ranked 1 in the Junior rankings in January 2013 after winning the title at the Junior Australian Open. He also won the boys’ doubles title with Kokkinakis at 2013 Wimbledon.

 

  • Kyrgios is one of the 11 Australian men who started this year’s Australian Open main draw – the most to start in the main draw here since 2003 when there were also 11. The last Australian man to win the title here was Mark Edmondson in 1976.

 

  • Kyrgios entered the men’s doubles event here with Daniel Evans. The pair will play Dusan Lajovic/Viktor Troicki in the 1st round.

 

  • Kyrgios has played Davis Cup for Australia since 2013. Australia will play Czech Republic in the World Group first round at Kooyong on 3-5 February.

 

  • Kyrgios is currently without a coach. His fitness trainers are Will Maher and Matt James.

 

  • SEPPI is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 4th time.

 

  • Seppi advanced to the 2nd round after defeating Paul-Henri Mathieu 64 76(4) 67(3) 75 in the 1st round on Monday. It was his first Tour-level match-win since he reached the quarterfinals at Antwerp (l. Kyle Edmund) in October.

 

  • Seppi’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the round of 16 on 4 occasions – at 2012 Roland Garros (l. Novak Djokovic), the Australian Open in 2013 (l. Jeremy Chardy) and 2015 (l. today’s opponent), and at 2013 Wimbledon (l. Juan Martin del Potro).

 

  • Last year here Seppi reached the 3rd round, falling to Djokovic 61 75 76(6). This is his 12th Australian Open and his 48th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Seppi reached the 2nd round at both Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic) and the US Open (l. Rafael Nadal) but lost in the 1st round at Roland Garros (l. Ernests Gulbis).

 

  • Seppi’s best result in 2016 was reaching the semifinals at Nottingham (l. Steve Johnson). He reached 4 further quarterfinals – at Sofia (l. Martin Klizan), Nice (l. Dominic Thiem), Halle (l. Florian Mayer) and Antwerp.

 

  • Seppi has won 3 career singles titles – at 2011 Eastbourne (d. Janko Tipsarevic), 2012 Belgrade (d. Benoit Paire) and 2012 Moscow (d. Thomaz Bellucci).

 

  • Seppi reached a career-high ranking of No. 18 after reaching the last 16 of the 2013 Australian Open. He dropped to No. 100 in the rankings on 17 October 2016 – his lowest ranking since July 2007 – but plays here at No. 89.

 

  • Seppi has lost 17 of his last 18 matches against Top 20 opposition. His only victory over a Top 20 player in that time was against No. 14 David Ferrer at 2016 Halle.

 

  • Seppi has lost 8 of his last 9 matches against Top 20 opposition at the Grand Slams. His only win over a Top 20 opponent in that time came at the 2015 Australian Open, when he defeated No. 2 Roger Federer to record his first win over a Top 10 player at a major.

 

  • Seppi has been coached by Massimo Sartori since 1995.

 

 17 ROGER FEDERER (SUI) v (Q) NOAH RUBIN (USA)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

Federer has not lost to a player ranked as low as today’s opponent since losing to No. 249 Sergio Bruguera at 2000 Barcelona. The lowest-ranked player he has lost to at a Grand Slam is No. 154 Mario Ancic at 2002 Wimbledon and the lowest-ranked player he has lost to at the Australian Open is No. 54 Arnaud Clement on his debut here in 2000.

 

FEDERER                                       v                                         RUBIN

 

35                                          Age                                          20

17                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            200

88                                         Titles                                          0

308-51                     Career Grand Slam Record                        2-2

81-13                        Australian Open Record                          2-1

1081-245                             Career Record                                  3-7

665-135                        Career Record – Hard                            3-6

1-0                                   2017 Record                                   1-0

1-0                              2017 Record – Hard                              1-0

24-20                         Career Five-Set Record                           1-0

10                        Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

395-215                      Career Tiebreak Record                          5-4

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-1

 

  • FEDERER is bidding to maintain his record of always having reached the 3rd round here. He defeated qualifier Jurgen Melzer 75 36 62 62 in the 1st round on Monday night.

 

  • Federer’s 1st round win over Melzer improved his win-loss record against qualifiers at the Grand Slams to 25-1. His only defeat to a qualifier at a major came against Mario Ancic in the 1st round at 2002 Wimbledon.

 

  • Federer has not lost in the 2nd round at a Grand Slam since 2013 Wimbledon, when he fell to Sergiy Stakhovsky to suffer his earliest defeat at a major since losing in the 1st round at 2003 Roland Garros.

 

  • Federer is looking to become the 3rd man in history to win 5 Australian Open singles titles after Novak Djokovic and Roy Emerson, who have both won 6 titles here [see Preview page 2].

 

  • At 35 years 174 days, Federer is looking to become the 2nd oldest man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after Ken Rosewall, who won 3 Grand Slam titles after turning 35. Rosewall won the 1970 US Open (aged 35 years 315 days) and the Australian Open in 1971 (aged 36 years 73 days) and 1972 (aged 37 years 62 days).

 

  • Last year here Federer reached his 12th Australian Open semifinal, taking sole occupancy of 2nd place on the Open Era list for the most semifinals reached at any one Grand Slam event after Jimmy Connors (who reached 14 semifinals at the US Open). Aged 34 years 176 days, he was the oldest man to reach the semifinals here since 35-year-old Colin Dibley in 1979.

 

  • Federer played just 7 Tour-level events in 2016 after injuring his knee the day after his Australian Open semifinal. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus on 2 February and withdrew from tournaments at Rotterdam and Dubai. He returned with a quarterfinal finish at Monte Carlo-1000 (l. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga) but, despite playing 4 further tournaments, announced on 26 July that he would miss the rest of the season, including the Olympic Games in Rio, due to the knee injury.

 

  • Federer dropped out of the world’s Top 10 for the first time in 734 weeks (over 14 years) in November 2016 and did not qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals for the first time since 2001. He plays here ranked No. 17 – his lowest position since May 2001.

 

  • Federer made his comeback from injury at the 2017 Hopman Cup, defeating Daniel Evans 63 64 and Richard Gasquet 61 64, but losing to Alexander Zverev 76(1) 67(4) 76(4).

 

  • In Grand Slam play in 2016, Federer reached the semifinals at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic), where he saved 3 match points to recover from 0-2 down and defeat Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals. It was his 10th career-comeback from 0-2 down, equalling Aaron Krickstein and Boris Becker’s record for the most career comebacks from 0-2 down. He withdrew from Roland Garros, ending his record streak of 65 Grand Slam appearances, with a back injury.

 

  • Elsewhere in 2016, Federer finished runner-up at Brisbane (l. Raonic). He also reached back-to-back semifinals at Stuttgart (l. Dominic Thiem) and Halle (l. Zverev) and the 3rd round at Rome-1000 (l. Thiem). He failed to win a title during a season for the first time since winning his first at 2001 Milan.

 

  • This is Federer’s 69th major appearance. He is in 2nd place on the list for the most Grand Slams played in the Open Era behind Fabrice Santoro (70) [see Preview page 5].

 

  • Federer has won 4 titles here – in 2004 (d. Marat Safin 76(3) 64 62), 2006 (d. Marcos Baghdatis 57 75 60 62), 2007 (d. Fernando Gonzalez 76(2) 64 64) and 2010 (d. Andy Murray 63 64 76(11)).

 

  • Federer is a 17-time Grand Slam singles champion. His last title at a major came at 2012 Wimbledon
    (d. Murray). He is one of 6 Grand Slam champions who started in this year’s men’s singles main draw.

 

  • Federer is coached by 2006 Australian Open quarterfinalist Ivan Ljubicic, and Severin Luthi.

 

  • Qualifier RUBIN is bidding to reach the 3rd round here and record his best Grand Slam result.

 

  • Rubin equalled his best Grand Slam result by defeating fellow qualifier Bjorn Fratangelo 67(4) 75 36 62 62 in the 1st round here. It was his first career 5-set match.

 

  • Last year here as a wild card, Rubin recorded his best Grand Slam result on his Australian Open debut by reaching the 2nd round (d. Benoit Paire, l. Pierre-Hugues Herbert). He fell in the 1st round on his only other Grand Slam appearance as a wild card at the 2014 US Open (l. Federico Delbonis).

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Rubin fell in the final round of qualifying at the US Open (l. Karen Khachanov) and in the 1st round of qualifying at Roland Garros (l. Dennis Novikov). He didn’t attempt to qualify at Wimbledon. This is the first time he has qualified for a major in 5 attempts.

 

  • Rubin defeated Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (GER) 57 64 64, Roberto Carballes Baena (ESP) 64 36 62 and Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) 62 64 in the 3 rounds of qualifying here. It was his first attempt to qualify for the Australian Open.

 

  • Rubin is bidding to record back-to-back Tour-level match-wins for the first time. By defeating Fratangelo in the 1st round here, Rubin recorded his 3rd career Tour-level match-win. His only other Tour-level match-wins came in reaching the 2nd round as a wild card at both the Australian Open and Delray Beach (d. Sam Groth, l. Jeremy Chardy) in 2016. He fell in the 1st round in all 5 of the other Tour-level events he has contested.

 

  • Also in 2016, Rubin reached the final at the Stockton Challenger (USA) (l. Frances Tiafoe) and the semifinals at the Maui Challenger (USA) (l. Di Wu). He reached 2 further Challenger quarterfinals at Sarasota (USA) and Tallahassee (USA) and also finished runner-up at the USA F8 Futures.

 

  • Prior to coming here Rubin played at the Noumea Challenger (CAL), where he reached the 2nd round (d. Mats Moraing, l. Adrian Menendez-Maceiras).

 

  • Rubin is bidding to defeat a Top 20 player for the 2nd time. He won his only previous meeting with a Top 20 player when he defeated No. 18 Paire in the 1st round here last year.

 

  • Rubin reached a career-high ranking of No. 166 on 6 June 2016. He plays here at No. 200.

 

  • Rubin reached a career-high junior ranking of No. 6 in January 2013. He won the boys’ singles title at 2014 Wimbledon, defeating Stefan Kozlov in the final, and also reached the quarterfinals at 2012 Roland Garros (l. Filip Peliwo). He never contested the boys’ singles event here.

 

  • Rubin is coached by Stan Boster and former US Open semifinalist Robby Ginepri, who reached the round of 16 here in 2004.

 

 

 27 BERNARD TOMIC (AUS) v VICTOR ESTRELLA BURGOS (DOM)

Tour-level head-to-head: Tomic leads 1-0

2014     Rome-1000 Qualifying   Clay (O)            R32      Estrella Burgos             75 63

2014     Bogota                         Hard (O)           SF        Tomic                           76(2) 67(5) 76(5)

 

A 2nd Tour-level for the pair and their first at a Grand Slam. Tomic won the pair’s only previous Tour-level meeting, in 3 tiebreak sets, at 2014 Bogota.

 

Tomic has not lost to a player ranked as low as No. 103 Estrella Burgos at a Grand Slam since he lost to No. 179 Daniel Evans in the 2nd round at the 2013 US Open. The last time he lost to a player ranked outside the Top 100 was at 2015 Newport, when he fell No. 156 John-Patrick Smith in the 1st round.

 

 

                            TOMIC                                         v                              ESTRELLA BURGOS

 

24                                          Age                                          36

27                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            103

3                                          Titles                                          2

38-27                      Career Grand Slam Record                       5-11

16-8                         Australian Open Record                          1-2

160-140                              Career Record                                78-64

115-87                         Career Record – Hard                           33-36

1-1                                   2017 Record                                   1-0

1-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              1-0

8-3                           Career Five-Set Record                           6-4

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         2

92-78                        Career Tiebreak Record                         34-24

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-0

 

  • TOMIC is bidding to reach the 3rd round at the Australian Open for the 6th time. This is his 9th consecutive appearance at the Australian Open and his 29th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Tomic advanced to the 2nd round with a 62 61 64 victory against Thomaz Bellucci in the 1st round on Monday.

 

  • Tomic’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the quarterfinals as a qualifier at 2011 Wimbledon (l. Novak Djokovic). He was the youngest man since Boris Becker in 1986 to reach the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.

 

  • Last year here, Tomic equalled his best Australian Open performance by reaching the round of 16
    (l. Andy Murray). He also reached the round of 16 here in 2012 (l. Roger Federer) and 2015 (l. Tomas Berdych).

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Tomic reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon (l. Lucas Pouille) and the 2nd round at Roland Garros (l. Borna Coric), but fell in the 1st round at the US Open (l. Damir Dzumhur). He played just 5 matches after the US Open for the rest of the year after struggling with an ongoing abdominal strain.

 

  • Also in 2016, Tomic finished runner-up at Acapulco (l. Dominic Thiem) and the semifinals at Brisbane and Queen’s, losing to Milos Raonic on both occasions. He reached 5 further quarterfinals at Sydney, Quito, ’s-Hertogenbosch, Cincinnati-1000 and Shenzhen.

 

  • Tomic reached a career-high ranking of No. 17 after reaching the semifinals at 2016 Brisbane. He plays here at No. 27.

 

  • Tomic has won 3 career titles, all of which have come on a hard court – at 2013 Sydney (d. Kevin Anderson) and at Bogota in 2014 (d. Ivo Karlovic) and 2015 (d. Adrian Mannarino).

 

  • Tomic warmed up for the Australian Open at Brisbane where he fell to David Ferrer in the 1st round. He also played at the Sydney Fast4 Exhibition Event, where he defeated Dominic Thiem in the shortened format, and at the Kooyong Exhibition event, falling to David Goffin 62 64 and Gilles Simon 63 in a single set match.

 

  • Tomic is one of 11 Australian men to start this year’s Australian Open main draw – the most since 2003 when there were also 11. He is looking to become the first native champion to win the Australian Open men’s singles title since Mark Edmondson in 1976.

 

  • Tomic is one of the 6 former Australian Open junior singles champions to reach the 2nd round here from the 7 who started in the men’s main draw. He won the 2008 Australian Open boys’ title aged 15 years 3 months, defeating Yang Tsung-Hua in the final. He was the youngest winner of the title since Ken Rosewall in 1950. He also won the 2009 US Open boys’ singles title (d. Chase Buchanan). Stefan Edberg is the only player to have won both the junior and senior title here in the Open Era. He captured the boys’ singles title in 1983, before winning the men’s singles in 1985 and 1987.

 

  • Tomic has played Davis Cup for Australia since 2010. Australia will play Czech Republic in the World Group first round at Kooyong on 3-5 February.

 

  • Tomic is coached by his father John.

 

  • ESTRELLA BURGOS is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the first time and equal his best Grand Slam result.

 

  • Estrella Burgos recorded his first Australian Open match-win by defeating Aljaz Bedene 76(2) 75 06 63 in the 1st round here.

 

  • Estrella Burgos’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the 3rd round on his US Open debut in 2014 (l. Donald Young).

 

  • Estrella Burgos is bidding to record back-to-back Tour-level match-wins for the first time since winning the title at 2016 Quito (d. Thomaz Bellucci).

 

  • Last year here, Estrella Burgos fell to Daniel Brands in the 1st round. He also fell in the 1st round on his debut here in 2015 (l. Jurgen Melzer). This is his 3rd Australian Open appearance and his 12th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2016, Estrella Burgos reached the 2nd round at Roland Garros (d. Illya Marchenko, l. Feliciano Lopez), but lost in the 1st round at both Wimbledon (l. Marcel Granollers) and the US Open (l. Joao Sousa).

 

  • Estrella Burgos’s 2016 highlight was defending his title at Quito, a year after becoming the first player from Dominican Republic to win a Tour-level title at 2015 Quito (d. Feliciano Lopez). He also reached the final at the Cali Challenger (COL) (l. Darian King) and 2 other Challenger quarterfinals.

 

  • Estrella Burgos is bidding to end an 11-match losing streak against Top 30 opponents. His last victory over a Top 30 player came at 2015 Barcelona, when he defeated No. 9 Marin Cilic. He has a 4-15 win-loss record against Top 30 players overall but has never beaten a Top 30 opponent at a Grand Slam.

 

  • Estrella Burgos is a former Top 50 player. He broke the Top 50 for the first time after winning the Morelos Challenger (MEX) in 2015 and reached a career-best ranking of No. 43 in June 2015. He ended 2016 at No. 102, the first time since 2013 that he has finished a year outside the Top 100.

 

  • Estrella Burgos holds multiple Davis Cup records for Dominican Republic. He has played in 45 ties, won 41 singles rubbers, 21 doubles rubbers and played for 18 years – all records for Dominican Republic players. In 2015, he helped Dominican Republic into the World Group play-offs for the first time, where the team lost 4-1 to Germany. Dominican Republic hosts Chile in Santo Domingo in an Americas Zone Group I first round tie on 3-5 February.

 

  • Estrella Burgos is currently without a coach. His fitness trainer is Matias Rizzo.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. 31 SAM QUERREY (USA) v (WC) ALEX DE MINAUR (AUS)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

Querrey has not lost to a player ranked as low as De Minaur at Tour-level since he fell to No. 315 Daniel Munoz-De La Nava at 2010 Madrid-1000.

 

                         QUERREY                                      v                                     DE MINAUR

 

29                                          Age                                          17

32                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            301

8                                          Titles                                          0

40-39                      Career Grand Slam Record                        1-0

10-10                        Australian Open Record                          1-0

286-236                              Career Record                                  2-2

197-151                        Career Record – Hard                            2-2

1-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-2

1-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-2

4-10                          Career Five-Set Record                           1-0

1                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

142-143                      Career Tiebreak Record                          2-0

  • 2017 Tiebreak Record                                    2-0

 

  • QUERREY is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 5th time and equal his best Australian Open result.

 

  • Querrey’s best Australian Open result is reaching the 3rd round here on 4 occasions – on his debut here as a wild card in 2007 (l. Tommy Robredo), and as a direct acceptance in 2008 (l. Novak Djokovic), 2013 (l. Stan Wawrinka) and 2014 (l. Fabio Fognini). This is his 11th Australian Open and his 40th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Querrey’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the quarterfinals at 2016 Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic). He defeated world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the 3rd round to become the first American to beat a world No. 1 at Wimbledon since Kevin Curren defeated John McEnroe in the quarterfinals in 1985. He was the first American to beat a World No. 1 at a Grand Slam since Andre Agassi defeated Lleyton Hewitt in the semifinals at the 2002 US Open.

 

  • Querrey fell in the 1st round at the other 3 Grand Slams in 2016. He retired with cramping at 2-sets all against Dusan Lajovic in the 1st round here, before falling to Bjorn Fratangelo at Roland Garros and Janko Tipsarevic at the US Open.

 

  • Querrey warmed up for the Australian Open at Brisbane, where he fell to Diego Schwartzman in the 1st round. He finished as runner-up in the doubles event with Gilles Muller, falling to Thanasi Kokkinakis/Jordan Thompson.

 

  • Querrey won his 8th career-singles title at 2016 Delray Beach (d. Rajeev Ram). 6 of his 8 career titles have come on a hard court. Also in 2016, he reached the semifinals at Memphis (l. Kei Nishikori), Acapulco (l. Dominic Thiem) and ’s-Hertogenbosch (l. Nicolas Mahut).

 

  • Querrey is a former Top 20 player, having recorded a career-high ranking of No. 17 in January 2011. He plays here at No. 32.

 

  • Querrey has entered the men’s doubles event here with Donald Young. They will play defending champions Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares in the 1st round.

 

  • Querry is coached by Craig Boynton, who also works with Steve Johnson.

 

  • Wild card DE MINAUR is bidding to reach the 3rd round here on his Grand Slam debut.

 

  • Aged 17 years 347 days, De Minaur is bidding to become the youngest man to reach the 3rd round at a Grand Slam since Rafael Nadal (17 years 243 days) at the 2004 Australian Open. By reaching the 2nd round here, De Minaur is the youngest man to reach the 2nd round at a major since Borna Coric (17 years 298 days) at the 2014 US Open.

 

  • De Minaur advanced to the 2nd round here after defeating Gerald Melzer 57 63 26 76(2) 61 in the 1st round on Monday. It was his 2nd career Tour-level match-win and his first 5-set match.

 

  • De Minaur warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the 2nd round as a wild card at Sydney, where he defeated Benoit Paire for his first Tour-level match-win before retiring against Andrey Kuznetsov with an abdominal strain. He also qualified at Brisbane, where he fell to Mischa Zverev in the 1st round.

 

  • Last year here as a wild card into qualifying, De Minaur fell to Kimmer Coppejans in the 1st round of qualifying. It is his only attempt to qualify for a Grand Slam. He entered the junior event here, reaching the semifinals of the boys’ singles (l. Jurabek Karimov) and winning the boys’ doubles title with Blake Ellis.

 

  • De Minaur’s best result in 2016 was reaching his first Challenger final as a qualifier at Eckental (GER) (l. Steve Darcis). He also reached the quarterfinals at the Mouilleron Le Captif Challenger (FRA) (l. Peter Gojowczyk) and finished runner-up at 2 Futures events in Spain.

 

  • De Minaur climbed over 1000 places to raise his ranking from No. 1551 at the end of 2015 to No. 354 by the end of 2016. He plays here at a career-high ranking of No. 301.

 

  • De Minaur reached a career-high junior ranking of No. 2 in February 2016. He finished runner-up in the boys’ singles event at 2016 Wimbledon (l. Denis Shapovalov) and reached the semifinals of the boys’ singles at the 2016 Australian Open. He was part of the Australian team that finished runner-up at the 2013 World Junior Tennis Finals in Prostejov, losing 2-0 to USA in the final.

 

  • De Minaur lives in Spain with his family after his parents closed their business in Sydney. He returns to Australia each year for the summer tournaments.

 

  • De Minaur is coached by Adolfo Gutierrez.

All statistics courtesy of the Grand Slam Media team, Australian Open Men’s Information Team and the International Tennis Federation.

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Australian Open 2017 – In Their Own Words – Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Others in Pre-Tournament News Conferences

(January 14, 2017) Top-ranked players at the Australian Open held pre-tournament news conferences on Saturday. Here are the transcripts of the conference from the interview section Australian Open tournament website.

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

Q. How does it feel to be the top seed at a slam?
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t feel any different really to normal, to be honest.

Q. What are your feelings coming into this tournament? Was the preparation this winter as good as you wanted?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think it went pretty well. Doha went well. Played some good stuff, especially at the end of the event. Yeah, I mean, the off-season, I would have liked to have been a couple weeks longer. But, you know, I made sure I got enough rest. You know, I’ll get hopefully a bit of time in February as well.

But, yeah, I did some good training over in Miami. There’s a lot of good players over there for practice. It went well.

Q. You’re playing in the middle of the afternoon on Monday when the forecast is pretty hot. Would you have preferred to have had a bit more practice time in hotter conditions?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, yeah, but there’s not really much else you can do about it. I mean, obviously in Doha, the conditions were pretty cool. You’re playing most of your matches in the evening. Also, if you do well here, you’ll often play at least three matches in the evening, sometimes four.

So, you know, it’s good practice for that. But obviously the day matches here can get, you know, brutally hot. I think maybe the Hopman Cup is probably where you get the best conditions or most similar conditions to here to start the year.

But, yeah, I’ll just have to deal with it, just like all of the other players will.

Q. Have you been impressed with Dan’s effort this week?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I haven’t seen loads of the matches. I saw the end of his match yesterday. I saw the first set and a little bit of his match with Thiem. But obviously he turned that match around kind of after I went out for dinner.

Yeah, I mean, it’s obviously a great week for a lot of Brits actually. Obviously Jo winning, as well, was great. My brother’s in the final. Yeah, it will be probably, you know, the best week that Britain’s had at tour level forever probably.

Q. When you practice, how much does the fact that Djokovic is normally looming in the latter stages of not just the slams, but tournaments like Doha, how much does that feature in the way you go about things?
ANDY MURRAY: In terms of the way I practice or…

Q. Tactical awareness, preparing for big matches.
ANDY MURRAY: Well, in terms of tactical awareness, I sort of study, watch video, to learn about things that I could do better or things that have worked well. Obviously, don’t do so much of that on the practice court. But there’s certain patterns of play that you practice that hopefully will help against certain players. Then also there’s things that are extremely important to your game and what makes your game effective, you know, not just against one player, but against the whole tour.

I feel like my movement and my speed around the court is a very important part of my game. That’s something that I try to work on all of the time without thinking about, you know, other players.

But, of course, there’s certain things you would practice, what would help you against the top guys, for sure.

Q. Not all the players have been able to beat you lately. David Goffin was one of them in Abu Dhabi, in the exhibition there. What do you think of him and do you think he could cause one or two upsets here?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I think he’s a really, really good player, obviously. He’s very quick around the court. He’s made improvements most years really, last few years. But as you get closer to the top, it becomes harder and harder to do that.

So, you know, it will be an interesting year for him. He works hard. I practice with him quite a lot, as well. He’s a good guy. Down-to-earth. Very quiet and relaxed.

Yeah, I hope he does well. But he’s, yeah, a very, very good player.

Q. What do you make of your opponent? You played him a few years ago.
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t remember loads about that match. We played on Margaret Court. I don’t remember too much about that match. I saw him playing a bit at the US Open. He had a good run there a few months ago. Also had a very tight match with Wawrinka there.

You know, he’s not easy. He fights very hard. He’s got a great attitude. Plays predominantly from the back of the court and moves well. He doesn’t give you too many free points.

But, I mean, I’ve only played him once. I’ve never practiced with him. And that match, it was a long time ago. It would have been, I don’t know, 2008, ’09, something like that.

Q. Roger was asked earlier if he could remember what it was like when he gained the No. 1 ranking. He said he felt that other people treated him differently. Is that something that you’ve experienced? Have you had any feelings like that?
ANDY MURRAY: No, not really. I don’t think so. I mean, yeah, I haven’t really noticed it. It kind of happened for me right at the end of the year, so I haven’t been kind of on the tour much as the No. 1 player. Just one week really in Doha. So I haven’t noticed it yet.

I don’t know if that will come over time, if I’m able to stay there or not. But, yeah, I mean, it’s only been really a few weeks around the tour with that ranking. I haven’t noticed much change.

Q. Looking back 12 months now, how much what was going on at home with Kim affecting you during the tournament here?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it was a tough tournament. Yeah, obviously the situation with, you know, Kim and the baby coming was tough. Then with what happened with Nigel kind of during the event made it really kind of awkward because there was times where I was thinking, like, you know, I want to go home. But then also my father-in-law was here and in hospital.

It was, like, I want to be at home for the birth, but then I’m not just going to sort of leave whilst my father-in-law is also in hospital.

Yeah, it was tough, and certainly not a position I would want to put myself in again, or my wife, or any of my family really.

Q. How close did you come to withdrawing before you lost?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, a few times. I mean, I don’t know how to say how close. But, yeah, it was certainly something that was talked about a lot, especially the second week of the event.

Q. Just get your reaction to Michael Downey resigning. Were you surprised to hear the news?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I wasn’t really surprised. I think everyone kind of thought that’s always what was going to happen there. It’s disappointing really, because it’s just another change for British tennis. Someone new will come in with a different direction for another three, four years, then it will change again.

I think for a system that’s — maybe everyone would say that’s not really worked for quite a long time, for change to happen, you need someone or a team in there that’s going to be in it for the long haul and not just a few years.

So I really hope the next appointment is something long-term. You can’t expect results, obviously, immediately. I don’t think there should be loads of pressure on that person to get stuff done straightaway. But, yeah, I’d like to see a long-term appointment so that there’s actually, you know, a chance for change to happen, but then stick. I think if you just do three years, then another three years, just keep switching all the time, it’s not good for anyone.

Q. In that you think it wasn’t going to be for the long haul?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, in terms of him moving back to Canada. I don’t think many people expected it to go longer than the term that he was signed up for.

But, yeah, I mean, I just hope that we get a long-term replacement. Don’t want it to be just a few years.

Q. Roger and Novak used to say that once you’ve reached the No. 1, you have to work double as hard to stay there. Do you see it like this?
ANDY MURRAY: I hope not (laughter). I hope not.

Well, yeah, I mean, I do think it is a mindset thing, because I think it could be quite easy that once you get to No. 1 that you think, Well, actually, I just need to keep doing what I doing.

The reality is, in sport, that things obviously keep moving on, the game will get better, I’ll obviously get older, the young guys will continue to improve, and also Novak and Roger and Stan and Rafa and all the guys at the top are still going to be wanting to get there. So that’s why having someone like Ivan on my team who has been in that position before and knows what that’s like has been important. I need to continue to improve. I for sure need to keep working hard.

I don’t think necessarily working harder than I have in the past, but just having the mindset I need to keep getting better and try to improve my game. Any weaknesses that are in my game, to try to get rid of them.

So, yeah, that’s how I feel about it.

Q. Your record here is really good. You haven’t actually won the thing. Do you feel like you’re in a really good position right now to go one step further?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, look, I obviously feel pretty confident after the way that last season finished. I do love it here. I love the conditions. I have played really well here over the years, and just haven’t managed to obviously get over the final hurdle.

But, yeah, I think I’m in a decent position, for sure, to do it. I think I have a chance to win here. Obviously nothing’s guaranteed. But, yeah, why not? I’m playing well. Practice has been good. I feel healthy. I’ll give it a good shot.

Q. Any other players called you Sir yet, Andy?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, yeah, but not genuinely, I don’t think (smiling).

Q. The host broadcaster is going to refer to you as Sir Andy. How does that make you feel?
ANDY MURRAY: I’m more than happy just being Andy. That’s enough for me. Yeah, if they call me Andy, that’s cool, I’d be happy with that (smiling).

 

Novak Djokovic

Q. You obviously had a bumpy at times second half of the last year. With the off-season, title in Doha, beating Andy there, do you feel more or less back on track? Is it that quick a fix or is it more a process still going?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I feel that already in London, World Tour Finals, I played very well, comparing to the three months, four months before that, where I was, you know, kind of struggling to find that right level in quality of tennis.

But, you know, I’ve worked very hard as I guess most of the players in the off-season, trying to get myself in a right state of mind, in a right shape and form. I couldn’t ask for a better start of the season, saving some match points in the semifinals, playing a really exciting match against Verdasco, then the next day against Andy. You know, thrilling final. It was great.

I got a lot of match play. Arriving to Melbourne, really excited to compete.

Q. You have a quite brutal first round against Verdasco again. How do you see that one?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I hope I will not get to the stage where I have to defend match points.

Again, you know, Fernando is a very complete player on any surface. In a given day, if things go right, he can beat really anybody on any surface, as I said. Nadal last year in five sets, he won first round. He has won against most of the top players. He’s not overwhelmed by, I guess, the occasion of playing on center court. He has had that experience many times.

So, again, a lot depends, of course, on how I feel, how he feels. It’s the first match of the Grand Slam. We both need to start with the right intensity, of course. We’re going to be obviously striving to do so.

But I’m expecting a tough one, there’s no doubt about it.

Q. Can you run us through your coaching team at the start of the season, let us know whether you’re thinking about bringing somebody else in.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I’m not thinking of bringing anybody in. This is the coaching team that there is, yeah.

Q. Marian Vijda?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. And Dusan Vemic is the second coach.

Q. It’s going to be hot in a few days. Do you relish the heat or do you struggle?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don’t know still a player that enjoys playing in 40 plus or 35 plus. It’s same for everybody, you know. It’s not easy, obviously. In the end of the day, that’s what you expect. You come to Australia during the summertime, and the conditions can get quite challenging and extreme.

But, as I said, you’re preparing for that. Same for you and your opponent.

Q. On the Verdasco draw, people have called it a nightmare. Do you consider it a nightmare draw or…
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I still haven’t had in I nightmares, so I can’t call it a nightmare draw. I just see it as a huge challenge. I hope I’ll be able to deliver.

Q. Do you see yourself as being in sort of a similar position to where you were three years ago, where you’re having to reestablish the air of invincibility?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I never had an invincibility, although I thank you for the compliment. Nobody is invincible. I never thought of myself as a superior player on the court, even though of course at times I was very confident, I was winning a lot of matches.

But, you know, knowing how it feels on the court, if you get overconfident, that’s why I don’t want to get into that kind of state of mind. I still want to put myself in a position where I’m quite even to other players, fight for this trophy as anybody else, even though I’m defending champion.

The fact that I’ve done so well in Melbourne Park the last 10 years of my career basically, it’s been the most successful Grand Slam that I’ve had, of course gives me a lot of thrill, a lot of confidence and excitement to approach it.

Q. Putting aside invincibility, do you feel there’s similarities to where you were three years ago?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I can’t compare, really, the seasons. I’ve been saying this before. Every year brings a new challenge personally and as a player. You’re just a different, different person. Every cell in your body every day changes.

It’s hard to really compare any kind of year. I just see it as a learning curve, as a process of developing into a more mature player, person, trying to get the best out of, you know, the circumstances, the live conditions that you’re in in the moment.

Q. The prospect of the seventh record-breaking title, does that sit in your mind, even at this stage?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Honestly, one of the reasons I’m here is to try to win every match that I play on, and eventually the title. I’m not the only one that is sitting here and talking about the title.

I love playing this sport. I love competing. I came in here as all the other 127 players to fight for this trophy, to enjoy competing. Of course, it’s an incentive, it’s motivation.

Q. Is there any specific reason as to why you do so well here? You do well everywhere, but especially here.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, one of the reasons is probably because it’s beginning of the year. I personally feel, I see many players feel very inspired and motivated to play their best tennis. They have been through a period of five, six weeks with no official matches. They recharge their batteries. They’re eager to get back on the court and play the sport.

It’s so early in the season, and we already have a first Grand Slam, one of the four biggest events in sport. I think that’s enough motivation for you to start off the season in best possible fashion.

Conditions play their role, for sure. I mean, I love playing on hard courts. Especially night matches play a bit slower, which I like. I guess it’s a combination of things.

Q. When you announced that you and Boris were going to go your separate ways, Boris did an interview in which he said that perhaps you haven’t been working as hard in the recent months as you had earlier on in your career. Do you think that is accurate? If so, do you think that has changed now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Boris and I have had an incredible three years. I can’t be more grateful to him, to our partnership, to our relationship, than I am. We’ve had amazing success. It’s all I can say.

I don’t want to go back and comment on anything. I kept a very friendly relationship with Boris. We just went separate ways.

Q. Obviously titles, preferably a Grand Slam, is most important to you. How essential is it to you to get back to that No. 1 ranking?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: As a consequence of the results, if I become No. 1, that’s great. Of course, that’s what I want. But it’s not my main priority, let’s say. I really would like to take one tournament at a time and try to win as many matches as possible. Then, as I said, as a consequence to that, if I become No. 1, I’ll be thrilled.

Q. A word of the comeback of Roger Federer. What do you expect from him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don’t expect anything, and everything. With Roger, you can always see a top level and quality of tennis. I mean, that’s what he brings. He brings this aura of a champion on and off the court. The sport definitely missed him.

It’s great to see him back, no question about it. From a colleague/player perspective and point of view and fans, everybody loves to see Roger. He’s one of the most important people that ever held the racquet. Of course, for our sport it’s great to see him.

Q. What do you think is the most challenging part for a comeback after a half-year absence?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think he’s going to answer that question better. But the fact he was absent because of his injury, I think that’s obviously going to be the concern, maybe, or to see how that’s going to play out.

But he didn’t seem to have any issues playing in Perth. He’s fit. I’m sure he’s very motivated because he hasn’t played any official tournament ever since Wimbledon, I think.

With all his experience, talent, everything he has achieved in his life, I don’t think it’s going to take too much of a time for him to really get back into that kind of competitive zone.

Q. Yesterday we noticed you were blowing your nose during practice. You appeared to have something with your eyes as well. Any lingering health concerns at all?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No (smiling). It was probably the only time I blew my nose, when you saw it. I’m a human being, as everybody else. No, it’s all good.

Q. Last year’s Australian Open was also associated with some revelations about match fixing. 12 years on, what are your reflections how far the sport has come, where we are on that journey, if you like? Anything more on that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Ideally, we don’t want to see any kind of match fixing occurrences and situations. But unfortunately they do occur from time to time.

I don’t think there are too many. I mean, we haven’t experienced too many, even though every time something surfaces, of course everybody, especially media, makes a great deal about it.

But generally, you know, looking I think ATP and all the authorities are doing a good job in kind of tracking down those kind of potential match fixing matches. I haven’t had chance to see too many cases. Yes, there are some. On a lower level, as well, lower category of the professional tournaments.

 

Serena Williams

Q. You said in Auckland how windy it was there, wasn’t a great chance to assess how you were playing coming into Melbourne. Do you feel now that you’re here, you have a better sense of how you’re feeling under court?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I felt great going into my last event. Hopefully I can improve on that. Well, I can’t get worse, so that’s also very exciting. Hopefully I’ll be able to improve on that.

Q. Does it feel good to be back?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.

Q. Or you’re so occupied on what you were doing?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I’ve been spending so much time on the court, so… But it feels really good to be back, just hitting on Rod Laver, hitting on all the stadiums, it’s a good feeling.

I love it here. It’s such a great tournament for me, so… Feels really good.

Q. In general, is there something in your game, because of the time off, you feel you really need to improve quite a bit to be back to where you were?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I always go in every off-season trying to improve pretty much everything all around. There’s things that I definitely focus on more than others. But for the most part… I don’t really talk about those things. For the most part I go off, try to do better in a lot of things.

Q. This winter when you sat down with the team, did you talk about a different approach for this season? What was the mindset coming into 2017?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely wanted to work on some things, like I just said. Every season I always sit down with Patrick, I have a conversation on what I want to improve on. We work towards that.

Q. How do you view last season? We never really had a chance to get your opinion. Obviously Wimbledon I think is the highlight.
SERENA WILLIAMS: For me, it wasn’t a great season. I think for other people it would have been wonderful. For me, it wasn’t.

It was what it was. I’m still hitting.

Q. Health permitting, how much do you want to play this year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely don’t want to play a lot, but I don’t think I’ve played a ton throughout the past. I’ve played a lot. I’ve always been super consistent the past five, six years. I definitely want to play probably around… Maybe not as many events.

If I can keep my consistency, that’s all.

Q. The reason I ask is last year you weren’t able to play that much, partly because of injury.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.

Q. You mentioned it wasn’t a great year by your standards. Is there a certain amount you feel you do need to play in order to still find your best?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I think actually last year’s schedule would be perfect for me. But I was injured a lot last year, especially after Wimbledon. My year basically ended after that, so… If I could have played the tournaments that I would have played, I think that would have an ideal, perfect schedule for me.

Q. When you talk about last year and how injuries kind of interrupted it at different segments, with the time off, do you think you were able to kind of let your body heal up in terms of the things that were bothering you last year, or was it still a little bit of an issue during the off-season or pre-season training?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I got a lot better. I had a little bit of a problem initially in the pre-season. Just did a ton of therapy, exercises. I was able to get a lot better.

I felt that if I hadn’t of taken that time off, could have been bad for me.

Q. Have you seen the forecast for Tuesday, the warm weather, how that will affect things?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven’t seen it. Is it supposed to be hot?

Q. 38.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Uh. Okay, better be ready.

Q. You’re playing Belinda, someone that has beaten you before. Thoughts about playing against someone as good as her right out of the gate?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it will be good for us both. I don’t know if she played here last year. Was it last year? She was quarterfinals, I think. I’m getting my years mixed up. Anyway, she’s done well here before.

So, yeah, she’s had a good win over me. It’s never easy for me. So I always go out there, and all I can do is do my best. I didn’t come here to lose in the first round, or the second round, or at all. If I can play the way I’ve been practicing, it will be fine.

I know she’s been playing well, so it will be good for both of us.

Q. In the six months that Roger was unable to play the sport because of injury, he spoke about a glimpse of life without tennis, but he still kept in touch with it, he still has the passion for it, it helps to motivate him for this year. Do you keep across the sport when you’re unable to play? Does that give you extra motivation, refresh you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t really keep up with it as much. I feel like when I take a break, I just need to really take a complete break, both physically and mentally. I definitely kind of take a step back.

But tennis is a sport that I absolutely love, that I definitely see myself — it’s my life, you know, for the rest of my life, whether I’m playing or whether I’m not playing. It’s definitely something that has made an incredible impact in my life.

Q. A few weeks ago you posted some personal, exciting news. Can you tell us a little bit about that.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, can you elaborate (smiling)?

Q. You said you were engaged.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh.

Q. That, remember?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I’m just kidding (smiling).

Yeah, it’s been really great. I’ve said from the beginning, I just didn’t want to think about it until after Australia because I was, like, Grand Slams mean a lot to me. I was, like, Well, I’m not going to think about it.

It’s almost a little unreal right now because I haven’t taken it in. I’m being rather selfish and focused on my career.

Q. You made it sound like it was a very romantic moment.
SERENA WILLIAMS: It was. It was. I’m actually just a really good writer, so… If you guys want any tips, I’m around (laughter).

Q. Does it feel different?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Again, not really because I don’t think I’ve had an opportunity to, like, let everything sink in. I won’t allow it to sink in because I’m so focused. It was right in the middle of pre-season. I’m really focused training, cardio, all kinds of stuff.

Now I’m on the road, already back at work. I don’t want to get too happy because I want to stay focused (smiling).

Q. The record, moving past Steffi, been around for a while. These days does it mean anything to you? What are your thoughts on that opportunity?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, I’m not talking about that. I’m just here to play and to win obviously, but just to play.

Q. I know you said you don’t want to get too happy. Do you feel like you need a certain amount of anger or something, a drive or focus, to switch on to full gear?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I wouldn’t call it anger, but I would definitely say drive and focus. What’s the word? Sacrifice? Yeah, sacrifices that you definitely have to have, so…

 

Roger Federer

Roger Federer

Q. How does it feel to be sitting in that chair? Were there any moments in the last 12 months when you wondered whether you might not be sitting in that chair right now?
ROGER FEDERER: No, 12 months ago I was always going to come back because my knee wasn’t so bad, so I never thought to miss the Australian Open a year later. But, of course, after Wimbledon, the race was on for Australia really, trying to make it for here.

I mean, I knew I had plenty of time. Probably in actual fact, if I would have kept everything short, it would have taken me four months then. That was pushing it. I would have had to take chances, test the knee earlier than what would have been good. But by giving myself six months, I had enough time, except if I had some setbacks. I never had that. So actually at the end I had plenty of time.

But so I always felt like I was going to be here. I’m happy I’m here, though. That means the job was well done. I can thank my team for that.

Yeah, was an interesting last six months, to say the least.

Q. What did you miss most?
ROGER FEDERER: Miss most? From here, you mean?

Q. Generally, when you were out. What was it about tennis that you missed?
ROGER FEDERER: Oh, from tennis.

I guess you do miss the matches at some point. You miss the feeling of winning, walking onto a stadium, seeing the guys. You know, it’s like an extended family to some extent anyway. You walk around here, it’s probably the same for you. You see faces you haven’t seen in a while. It’s just nice to see everybody again.

Plus I have a lot of friends on the tour, you know, because I’m the returning guest for like 20 years everywhere I go. It feels good to see those familiar faces every single year. It’s something I couldn’t quite enjoy the last six months. That’s probably what I missed the most.

Q. Are you happy how the body has reacted, the preparation, you feel everything is in order?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it’s under control. I felt great. I felt Hopman Cup was great preparation. We’ll see if it was perfect or not. But conditions felt virtually identical to me. Center court in Perth was sort of similar size. Court speed felt the same. Obviously same continent, all that stuff.

It felt really good. Then practice was more about just managing, maintaining, not overtraining, but nevertheless still play enough to get used to the conditions here again, even though it’s the same. You know how it is, you just have to put down the hours, play the sets. I did that.

Yeah, it’s just more quiet now, whereas in Dubai I was really forcing the issue. I was training extremely hard. I don’t have to do that anymore this week, so I feel like it’s been a light week.

Q. How do you know you’re going to be able to handle the long four or five sets that the Australian Open brings up?
ROGER FEDERER: I guess it’s slightly the unknown. You could then argue that it’s the same for everybody. We don’t play four-setters, five-setters every single week. You only play them in Davis Cup now and in Grand Slam play. I went through a year where I didn’t play any five-setters, an entire year.

You could think that’s a good thing for longevity, but it’s not a good thing because you don’t know how it feels to play a five-setter anymore. Yeah, a lot of guys haven’t played four-setters or five-setters in a long time, or never in their life. From that standpoint, I don’t feel like it’s a huge advantage or disadvantage for them.

I trained as hard as I possibly could, so I will be ready for it. I did numerous sessions where I trained over two and a half, three hours. I feel I’m ready.

But, like I said, it is the unknown. It’s the part that I can only once I’ve been there.

Q. There’s a lot of unknown for you in your draw because you play a qualifier, then another qualifier. Does any of you sneak out today to watch the qualifying matches, guys you don’t know, or is it not worth scouting until you know?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean Severin and Ivan, my coaches, are out and about checking it out.

Yeah, it would be good to know who I play. I guess I could tell you what I think. Like this, I’m waiting to find out. Once it’s out, it’s actually a good thing because then you can start actually mentally preparing for the Aussie Open. Is it a lefty, a righty? It’s a big deal. Is he a big server, a grinder? A bit of an unknown here the first round because that’s the part of the draw I care most about because of having not been playing.

Q. Do you feel you have to play catch-up having missed six months, more new faces you’re unfamiliar with than usual?
ROGER FEDERER: Not really, I don’t think. I’ve never known all the guys in qualifying. There’s always new faces coming up every season. The guys, a lot of them, who played futures or challengers a year ago may be 300, next thing you know they’re in the top 100. It’s nice to see those new faces. It’s nice to see the changes. It’s no different this year, I don’t feel.

Q. You will remember what it was like to first become world No. 1, which is what Andy is obviously experiencing this week. Does it feel any different? Do you get looked at differently, do you feel? Do you have a different sense of perception?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I think it definitely feels different, yeah, because everybody comes up to you and says, You’re the best. You start walking around a bit differently. Just feel more confident overall in your shots without having had to play. It’s a good thing. Usually when you win, you know, it solves everything.

From that standpoint, there’s only one virtually the last four months. I’m sure things have been very smooth for him in his life, family, everything is great. What is there to talk negative about? The negativity goes out of the door a little bit, which is a good thing in tennis. When you can think and feel positive, that rubs off into match play.

Then I guess you come to a point when you just can’t let it affect you, you just have to remind yourself how hard you had to work to actually get there. It’s going to require that plus more to stay there.

But I feel like because Andy is not 18 years old. He knows all about that. I don’t think the ranking in this regard changes him in a big way. I think he’s too laid back for him to also change in terms of attitude towards us.

Yeah, like I said, I’m super happy for him. He deserves it. He’s been in there for a long time. He’s had some tough losses, some great wins over the year. He never kind of strung it together that it would pay off. This time it did, so it’s great for him, great for the sport.

Q. From your perception, somebody who played the role of No. 1 player in the world, dominated many years, in many ways this year you’re kind of an underdog. You talked about the unknown. Are you looking forward to being that, the underdog?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, why not for a change? I mean, I prefer to be the favorite. Underdog is okay. Yeah, no, it’s fine. As long as I’m healthy and I feel like I can go four, five sets, I can go many matches in a row, then I think it’s going to be fun. If I feel like I’m in pain in the matches, then obviously it’s no fun. Then it doesn’t matter what your seeding or ranking is, it’s always the same.

But, no, it’s a great draw because I’m in the draw. So for me I’m super pleased that I made it here, that I have an opportunity to win matches. How many rests to be seen. I’m cautious myself. So, yeah, clearly an underdog this time around.

Q. Do you like the new logo of the Australian Open?
ROGER FEDERER: It’s okay (smiling).

Q. You were here last year when the headlines about match fixing were in the news.
ROGER FEDERER: I thought we were going to finish on a good one (smiling).

Q. There’s been 12 months of debate, a lot of people calling for money even in the qualifying of Grand Slams. What do you think of that notion? Is there anything left undone, something else we could be doing to address the problem?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, some guys who have been called for match fixing are ranked extremely low. That’s at the very beginning stages, I mean you can’t be offering — I don’t know how much prize money is there. You’re playing in futures or tournaments they’re playing in.

I think it’s important that the tournament does the utmost. The Integrity Unit is analyzing the situation. I think we’re going to get a report back in a couple months, what I heard, which I think is great. That’s going to change the sport for the better.

Clearly we have no space for that kind of behavior in our sport. The good thing is that it’s really only zero point something percent of players that actually have done something over the course of so many matches and so many players. I think we’ve done actually okay.

Like you said, there can always be more done. But I think also through experiences, you learn through those mistakes, whoever did them, the tour, the player, the Federation, I don’t know. It’s tough. But I think important is to support players and educate them the right way to make them aware of the dangers potentially, also what lies ahead as a player you don’t know. That’s where it’s good to have a mentor, older brother on the tour you can lean on and ask for advice.

I felt I was lucky early on in my days that I had that. I had a great coach who was on the tour before. I had guys like Marc Rosset, former players that I could always ask for advice, sound advice, because they’d been on tour for 10 years. Or just ask my parents. But they didn’t have a tennis background, so it’s more tricky there. Maybe the Federation, as well. I think it’s very supportive in a tough environment sometimes.

 

 

Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka

Q. What’s your mindset going into this tournament after winning the most recent Grand Slam?
STAN WAWRINKA: I’m happy to be back, like every player probably. I think I’m work well in the off-season. Started well in Brisbane. I think my level is there. I’m ready to start the tournament. Excited to start the first Grand Slam of the year, first one against Klizan, a tough player that I played only a few years ago, but is a really dangerous player.

It’s going to be interesting to see the first match.

Q. What is the most dangerous aspect when you play against a lefty?
STAN WAWRINKA: Well, depends who you play. For sure, if you play Rafa, if you play Klizan…

I think for me, I don’t have really problem because he is a lefty player. I’m quite confident with my backhand, so it depends all about me, the way I’m going to start, the way I’m going to play.

Q. Last year you started the season in India. Now you move starting the season in Australia. Is there a special reason to do that?
STAN WAWRINKA: No. I’ve been playing India for nine years in a row. I always enjoy there. I always liked it there.

But I heard a lot of good things about Brisbane. Roger played also. He always told me was a great tournament. I wanted to change a little bit to see some new city, some new tournament. It’s also good mentally. So I took the decision to start here in Australia.

I think was a great week. I really enjoy there, the city, the people at the tournament, the fans. Was a lot of fans. Think was a perfect start of the year.

Q. You said you wanted to change a bit. Did you also change something in the preparation? What was the special focus in this off-season for you?
STAN WAWRINKA: Didn’t really change anything big. I had good time. I’m happy the way I did my off-season. Was some good quality fitness-wise and tennis. Keep improving, keep trying to find what I can improve in my game, keep pushing myself.

I’m really happy with the level I’m playing right now. I know that if I can keep pushing during the year, keep doing the right thing, the big result will come.

Q. I saw you and Roger are already out of Davis Cup in the U.S. Is that an easy decision for you, having to go to a different continent?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, schedule-wise it’s really tough after one month in Australia to go back to States, to come back to play in Europe, then go back to States after. It is never easy to not play Davis Cup, but with that schedule, was really tough for me to be available for the team.

Q. The local reaction to the draw, forecasting past round one?
STAN WAWRINKA: Not really, because it can be in the fourth round. I’m not there yet. He’s not there yet neither. For me it’s all about focus, what we do the first round. If I won the first round, then it’s going to be the second round.

We all know how the draw is. We all look the draw, full draw, we all see what can be the draw for after. But at the end the focus, it’s in the first match because if you don’t pass it, you never get to that match.

Q. Last year you had Richard Krajicek for the grass court season. Do you plan to have another coach?
STAN WAWRINKA: For the season or for the grass?

Q. The grass court season.
STAN WAWRINKA: Grass is really far away from where I am right now, so… Not really, no. I focus on everything we have before starting the first Grand Slam now. That’s the main focus.

 

Kei Nishikori

Kei Nishikori

Q. You’re in the same quarter as Murray and Federer. After your Brisbane performance, how confident are you that you can go deep in the Australian Open?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, it was great run last week in Brisbane. First time to get a final. So I’m really happy with my start of the year. Yeah, we’ll see. Have a tough first round. Try to play one match at a time. Yeah, hope I can make to second week.

Q. How are you feeling physically at the moment? Obviously you have an off-season. It’s an unusual schedule in a way that you finish your long year, have a break, then suddenly you have one of the biggest events of the year straightaway.
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, feeling pretty good. I had a good off-season. I rest a lot before I do the training session. Had a good off-season, you know. Good training, good practicing. I thought I, you know, started well this year.

So, yeah, it’s going to be really important how I do here to get a lot of confidence for start of the season. Yeah, feeling pretty good after I hurt in Brisbane in the final, but I feeling pretty good.

Q. You’ve obviously been a top-10 player now for quite a long time. What do you think you’re still capable of doing in this sport?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, yeah, it’s been three years now maybe to be in top 10. Well, I got really mentally strong. I think I’m more consistent and much more mature for everything, you know, even off the court, on the court too.

Yeah, everything is getting better now.

Q. Do you think you can win one of these tournaments? You reached a Grand Slam final. From what you’ve seen of your level, and everybody else’s level, do you think you can win a Grand Slam?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, yeah, that’s what I believe in myself. I hope I can get a Grand Slam title sometimes. But I haven’t get big title yet, even the Masters tournaments. That’s something what I need for my confidence and experience.

Yeah, my goal this year is to win a big tournament.

 

 

Milos Raonic

Milos Raonic

Q. Why did you change your coach to Krajicek?
MILOS RAONIC: It was just a timing of how things went. I feel like for me to make the steps I want, especially forward, specifically with that focus, you have these two guys that move very well laterally. I don’t think I’m ever going to be the best guy from the baseline by any means, especially not against them. If I’m going to take it to them, it’s by coming forward. So I wanted to improve in that aspect.

Q. Why did you add Richard Krajicek to your staff?
MILOS RAONIC: That’s the same exact question.

No, it’s really to help me be more efficient going forward. I believe you have these two guys that are phenomenal right now at the top of the game covering the baseline. It’s really hard to get by them, especially with the way they move. I can’t expect to move like they do. I think I’ve got to be at least 20, 25 pounds heavier than them. It’s going to be about moving forward.

I think Richard could really help me in being more aggressive, more forward orientated, and more efficient when I’m able to get myself coming in.

Q. With regard to that, a year ago here you seemed to be doing a lot of that. You were going to the net a lot this time last year. You got to the semifinals. You were one set away from the final here. Do you think you need to be up there even more? Does Richard think you need to be up there?
MILOS RAONIC: I wouldn’t say even more. I think it’s about the consistency of it. When I was here last year, I was very efficient at coming forward. I did a lot of things well.

It could be because of the sort of injury. After that I didn’t have really the capacity to train properly. It sort of drifted away. It had come time to March in Indian Wells, Miami, I wasn’t coming in as much. Obviously on clay, it’s its own situation. Wimbledon and through the grass, obviously the situation did help me come forward more. But then through the rest of the summer and fall, I didn’t do it that much.

With those lapses of consistency, it’s really hard to make the true progress. So that goal is to some days it’s going to be more efficient than others. But if I’m able to put myself in that situation more consistently, I will continue to improve.

Q. Is it something that comes naturally to you psychologically, or do you have to actually remind yourself?
MILOS RAONIC: It depends on what the scenarios are. Sometimes against guys that are lower ranked, I can get away with staying further back. Sometimes I’m not disciplined enough, or attention focused on that specific thing in those situations.

Then obviously, you don’t want to be arriving to a quarterfinal or a semifinal in these big tournaments and expect yourself to be efficient coming forward. So it’s about obtaining that perspective, that command within myself to do it from the beginning of the tournament, so that when it does get to later stages where it’s not very optional, it’s something I need to do if I want to give myself the best opportunity to win. It’s been already tried, tested and true by then.

Q. How do you feel game-wise coming into the tournament after the few matches you had since the start of the tournament?
MILOS RAONIC: I feel good. Obviously this year is a lot different than last year. Last year the first matches of the year were the most important to me because I didn’t play at the end of 2015. So I really needed to get an understanding of where I was at. Right now I have a much better understanding of where I’m at, and now it’s really about I know what I can get out of myself. It’s more important to be mentally prepared, sort of grit my way through and get that out of myself. Some days I’ll be successful, some days not. But if I’m mental able to really be on top of myself, I’ll give myself a chance to win, and hopefully progress throughout the tournament.

Q. You are world No. 3 right now. Could you catch up Novak and Andy? Do you have confidence?
MILOS RAONIC: I definitely do have that confidence. But it’s going to take some time. They’re significantly ahead of anybody as far as points go and as far as results over the past 12 months.

Q. Have you changed anything in your preparation physically to try to get rid of the injuries you got last year?
MILOS RAONIC: We focus on different things. I think sort of the hours spent on court, we did that a little bit less in the off-season. Most of my injuries do tend to be in the lower half of my body. There was two focuses. Obviously spending less time pounding my lower body on concrete. Spent more time in the gym, sort of changed around that ratio a little bit.

Obviously the off-season was as long as previous years as well. Then focused on losing a little bit of weight, refocusing on that. Something that can help me throughout the year. Obviously those hours spent with a few extra pounds here and there can make a difference.

Q. What are your experiences with Krajicek?
MILOS RAONIC: They’ve been very positive. We spent somewhere close to I believe now eight to ten days together. We spent the last week of the off-season together. We spent Abu Dhabi together. It’s been very positive.

We’ve focused on a lot of things, especially obviously coming forward being the main thing. Last year there was a few things that I did well. There was two specific matches I was — two important matches I was able to get ahead a set and a break. I gave that away. We focused on in those situations I could take better care of my serve. Then we focused a little bit technically on cleaning things up at the net so I can be a little bit more efficient, where I position myself, how I cover the net, so forth.

Q. Is he now your head coach or is there no difference between the two coaches?
MILOS RAONIC: Virtually there’s really no difference. Richard is going to be doing mostly tournaments with me, where he’s going to help me getting the best out of myself. Ricardo is more doing the weeks when I sort of go home, do the training weeks, these kind of things.

I think both of them have equally as important a role as the other.

Q. You mentioned you focused on when you’re a set and a break ahead, that kind of situation that you had with Andy.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, there were two situations. There was the situation in Queen’s and obviously in the semifinals there.

You can’t really put yourself in that situation through practice. You got to deal with those situations. There was attention put into what do I need to do differently or what can I expect in those scenarios that I look for.

I believe obviously the situation in Queen’s was quite different from the one in the O2 because the one in Queen’s, it came down to one or two points, whereas in the O2 it was 4-4, I had mistakes, I believe. It’s how to manage those situations, being a little bit more aware of them.

Q. What is the conclusion?
MILOS RAONIC: The conclusion is sometimes I have to take more time. Sometimes I’d veer off what I was doing to get myself to that point. It’s being more disciplined, remembering those things, sort of sticking to that, no hocus-pocus.

Q. I can’t imagine anything worse than trying to lose weight over Christmas personally.
MILOS RAONIC: Thanksgiving, as well. That wasn’t easy (smiling).

No, it’s something that actually I started preparing for all the way in September, after the disappointment at the US Open, just being aware of that. I knew I can’t really expect too much from myself, especially changing habits while I’m playing.

The grunt part of it, the main focus of it was done in those three, four weeks that I had.

Q. Did you change your diet completely?
MILOS RAONIC: To some extent, you know. I think it’s more before I have what I can and cannot eat, then just manage it. Now it’s I have what I should eat and how much of it I should eat.

 

Garbine Muguruza

GARBINE MUGURUZA

Q. I was watching the tournament in Brisbane, watching some of your matches there. You seemed super motivated. You seemed really excited to be back out on the court. Do you feel a little bit different this year, maybe refreshed from the off-season and so forth?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: I don’t feel very different. I think it’s just like the continuation, I don’t know if it makes sense, of the last year.

I know it’s a new start. Like you said, I’m very motivated. I think I’m in a great position to be, and looking forward to play, try to find my best level, hopefully more weeks.

Yeah, that brings me a lot of motivation.

Q. Have you done anything different in your off-season this time compared to previous years?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Not really something different. I think I did a good preparation with my team. We focus a lot my kind of weak parts of the body, just to not get injured, or to be more days more prepared for the matches.

I spend a lot of time on the court. But I think it’s part of the pre-season, you know, schedule.

Q. Since Brisbane, what have you been up to in terms of trying to get your body as fit as possible for the tournament?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Well, when I stop Brisbane, I just rest actually for a lot of days. Like rest, did nothing, no tennis, no fitness. I just trying to recover with my physio until I arrived here, and I started playing again. You know, just refreshing my body from those difficult matches to try to be here 100%.

Q. How have things been feeling for you on court physically and rhythm-wise?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: I think good. I had enough off days to prepare. I think it took me long than I thought to recover from those matches.

But, yeah, I feel good. I’ve been training here for the past three days. Yeah, I feel ready.

Q. I imagine this tournament has some pretty fond memories for you. It’s probably the first time I really became aware of your potential, the matches you had here two or three years ago. What is it like to play here compared to the other slams for you?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Well, I remember this was the first Grand Slam — was it first one? Was not the first one that I played the main draw, but was the first one that I win a match in the main draw. I was very happy. So it brings me a lot of memories, you know, getting into more level matches. I remember playing on Rod Laver and Hisense. Like you said, very good matches that make me more, you know, self-confidence.

I think I always play well here, so I’m very happy to be back. It’s one of our favorite tournaments, Australian Open. They improve a lot of things every year, which is amazing for us. My manager still remember the first match he saw me here. It was 14-12 the third set, so is funny (smiling).

Q. Every slam offers different challenges, like specific things to the US Open or the French or Wimbledon that make it difficult. At the Australian Open, what are the particular challenges of playing this tournament and trying to win it?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: I usually fight with the heat. I mean, I think not only me, everybody fights against the heat. Sometimes is very tough. I know when you play in the beautiful center courts, there’s air-conditioning. But we all started in the outside courts, you know, where you have to fight. It’s 40 degrees. You’re exhausted.

So I think that’s the most harder. But I think there’s a lot of good things here. I think I feel when I come to Australia there is like a tennis month. It’s like crazy. I’m okay, tennis month. I put the TV, everybody is watching tennis. The fans, they’re so involved in this month because of the tennis.

Q. I remember a match you played at the US Open against Johanna Konta a couple years ago. She won that match. It was incredible. She’s gone on from there to be a top-10 player. She just won in Sydney. Is that a surprise to you, that she’s managed to go from the player that beat you that day? Did you expect her to be as high as she is right now?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Well, before we played that match, I knew her before. She used to train sometimes in Spain. I remember that match. It was like five-hours match. It’s true that since that year, kind of, she went very like this, up.

I think she’s just a very good player, and she’s showing it. I mean, everybody takes their moment and their timing to start climbing. But she’s definitely showing a lot of consistency since last year. She’s improving, improving. I saw little bit in Sydney.

So, yeah, she’s playing great.

Q. When you think back to those early days when you would play here at this tournament on the outside courts, nobody knew who you were, your manager is walking around outside taking a look, how different was it to play a first-round match when you were a little bit less known, a little bit more anonymous, compared to what is the feeling like nowadays as a top player playing the first match as a Grand Slam? Mentally and emotionally, how different is that?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Is different but is not that far away. Okay, like, five years ago I came here, I’m like, I’m in Australia. It’s a Grand Slam. I walking through the rooms and I see all these top-10 people. Amazing, I follow them and stuff. You are so nervous, so nervous.

But now you come and you’re so nervous, too, for different reasons. Is a very important tournament, you work so hard to go out there and play good and perform well. It’s different, but at the same time emotionally it takes a lot of energy.

 

 

 

Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios

Q. The knee update, please?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, it’s feeling really good. I’ve done four or five treatments on it. Got one more tomorrow. Yeah, it’s feeling a lot better since I last competed, which was in Perth. So I’ve had massive improvements in my knee.

Q. And the treatment is?
NICK KYRGIOS: Just putting, like, patches on my knee. It’s another way to insert some cortisone in my knee.

Q. Happy about the Hisense situation?
NICK KYRGIOS: Definitely. I think Hisense is one of my favorite courts, if not my favorite. I feel confident on that court. I love the way it looks. I like the dimensions of it. It’s a great serving court. Yeah, I like playing there.

Q. When you played the Fast4 just a few days after Perth, you looked pretty good. Were you feeling pain-free?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, a couple, two days. I think I played four days after. Yeah, I had a couple treatments. I had to test it out there. If I wasn’t able to play Fast4, I probably wasn’t going to look good to play a best of five match. I had to test it out there. It was still giving me some pain, but definitely feeling some improvement already.

Q. How do you feel about your draw?
NICK KYRGIOS: I think it’s very good. Obviously you get rewarded with a good draw the higher your seeding is. I played well last year. Got my ranking to top 30 in the world. I’ve been awarded with a pretty good draw.

Saying that, Elias can play some pretty high-level tennis. Everyone in the draw can, can beat anyone on the day. I got to go out there and not expect to win the match. I got to go out there and just play and we’ll see how it goes.

Q. What are your expectations, Nick, coming in here, given obviously you haven’t played a regular tour event for a while, and the knee? Where are you setting the bar?
NICK KYRGIOS: You know, I’m never been a player to play many tournaments before a Grand Slam. I like to come in pretty fresh. So my expectations are high. I still feel like I can do some major damage and get to the second week and really cause some upsets, so…

My expectations are still pretty high.

Q. Do you get a sense from the Australian public, there’s been some rocky moments lately, do you get a sense that everyone is behind you and wants to see you play to your full potential?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah. I thought in Perth everyone was behind me. In the Fast4, as well. I think it would be silly not to. We got two players in the top 30 that can do really well and go deep in the draw. We got a lot of guys in the draw that can do well, younger guys. Jordan Thompson is playing well now. It’s exciting. It’s an exciting time for Australian tennis. Yeah, I think everyone should just get behind everyone because we all can play well.

Q. Did you do much different in the off-season this year compared to previous years?
NICK KYRGIOS: I had a bit more of a schedule this year. I had a strength conditioner. We’ve been working pretty hard. Yeah, I guess it was a couple weeks where I didn’t have him this year. I kind of did my own thing. I think that’s how my knee started flaring up a little bit. Live and learn, hopefully next year I’ll get it right.

Q. Do you feel a different player than last year when you sat in that chair?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah. I feel like last year I was an established top-hundred player. I hadn’t beat top guys on a consistent basis. I feel like now I know what I can do on the court. Last year I was pretty consistent throughout the year. Won three titles. Got to 13. I feel more comfortable on the court. I know what my game is, I know how to play it. I know I can beat anyone on the day.

 

Bernard Tomic

Bernard Tomic

Q. How would you sum up your preparations?
BERNARD TOMIC: Pretty good. I was practicing very well. And, yeah, I got a bunch of exhibitions in, so it was important for me get matches regardless of win/loss.

I’m feeling pretty confident. I play a tough player first round here, so it’s going to be a tough match. He’s not easy to play for me, so I have to get ready for this match with all my effort.

Q. You expect he’ll make you work pretty hard? Is that the way he goes about it?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, he’s very intense. He’s beaten a lot of top players. I think he’s reached almost top 20 in the world, won multiple titles. For me he’s a top 10, 15 player on clay. It’s going to be tough.

His ranking now is 60, 70. He’s one of those players, where he’s playing well, he’s not an easy player to play.

I have to come into this match 100% from the first point. That’s going to be very important for me, you know.

Q. What do you make of your draw more generally?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I saw the first two matches potentially. It’s tough. Everybody in the first round can play. I don’t look any more further ahead. The times I’ve looked further ahead, I’ve sort of lost. I think you have to respect everyone. Everybody can beat everybody here. It’s a Grand Slam. Everyone is playing to win, playing for themselves at the best level. They’ve prepared at their best.

For me this first round is important. After that I’ll see who I play, but I really don’t care.

Q. It’s going to be hot, Monday and Tuesday.
BERNARD TOMIC: It’s not going to be easy. I just have to deal with it. It’s going to be the same for everybody on that day. Tuesday is going to be tough. I have to be hydrated, ready. We’ve seen many times here at the Open where people are not physically ready, have to withdraw. It gets sometimes out of hand sometimes with the heat. It’s something you have to play, not just the opponent, but the heat. I guess I have to be ready for this.

Q. There’s been a lot spoken about your fitness. Where would you rank it out of 10?
BERNARD TOMIC: I think honestly, if I can say there are 50 people fitter than me outside of the top 70 to 150 in the world. There are some players not as fit as me inside the top 10, 15 in the world.

Will fitness help them? I don’t think so. I feel obviously the big servers, Isner, Raonic, Kyrgios, Karlovic are there. I don’t think fitness can help them. Fitness has got me… I’ve based my sport, what I’ve got in my career, with my serve, my ability to play tennis.

I think there are many fitter players than me that are outside the top 100 in the world. I think we can skip this question.

Q. Has your weight stabilized?
BERNARD TOMIC: I’m not going to answer that.

Q. How would you describe your sort of hunger or desperation for bigger and better things this year, at this tournament, and in 2017 generally? How high of goals do you set for yourself, what is success, what is failure?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, top 10 is my goal. Top 20, because my goal two years ago, a year and a half ago. I achieved that from being 130 in the world prior to two surgeries from that. Now my goal is to get to top 10 and stay there many years. You have to work for this. It’s not going to happen overnight.

I think my year last year was pretty solid. I didn’t play many tournaments. I think I pulled out of two Masters Series. I think I only play two Masters Series out of the nine. My ranking ended 26 at the end of the year, from a start of 17, 18. I think I did reasonably well last year compared to the tournaments I missed.

Yeah, this year I have to play all the Masters Series and try to do well at them. I’m looking forward to this year.

Q. Are there big steps between you and the top 10 or are you already doing everything right?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, I think there are a lot of good players in the top 20, top 30 that are top-10 players. You got to get there. You got to earn it. Whether it comes like that or in four, five years, you know, you obviously are going to get your chance. If you’re consistent, you work hard, do the right things, you have a big chance at this.

There are, like I said, many, many players from top 20, 30 in the world that are amazing tennis players, potentially play better than some of the guys in the top 10. But it’s a different game. You have to be more consistent, you have to work for this. It takes a year. It doesn’t take three tournaments.

Q. You’ve been pretty consistent here throughout the years. Is that because it’s at home, the time of year? How do you explain that?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, I think this is my ninth Australian Open. I’m 24, just turned. This is my ninth Australian Open. It’s crazy to think how long it’s been. I obviously played my first match year at 16, where I think I won the youngest match. It’s gone pretty quickly. I always played well. Always made a lot of third rounds, fourth rounds. I’d like to go a step further, play better.

But, yeah, it’s obviously a tough draw. It’s going to be tough. I think I’ve got to use the moment, use the crowd. Obviously the fans get behind me, I’m sure they will. They always get behind our Australian players and support them to their limits. I think that’s what makes us play really good in Australia.

Q. When you say you’re not looking at the wins and losses, other people are saying it’s not great preparation. What make you more confident, what makes you shrug this off?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, yeah, I think I chose to play a few different events as opposed to playing Sydney like I played in the past four, five years. So I feel like, yeah, Brisbane I lost to a former world No. 3. It was a tough match. I take a lot from it. I went down to Sydney, played the exhibition. Same as Kooyong. Different sort of matches, I was working on a few things. I don’t really rate these matches as winning or losing, Sydney and Kooyong. That’s not important to me. What’s important for me is to get out on the court, do my thing and work on a few things I needed to do. And just to be ready mentally for the Open. I played very good in my past here where I haven’t been prepared for tournaments. Sometimes it happens just like that. Sometimes I prepared well and not been as ready.

But that’s tennis. Players work hard, try their ass off, sometimes you lose. Sometimes you’re less prepared, and you do well.

Q. You’re looking forward to the fans getting behind you? To 10,000 Aussies. Be put out on Hisense?
BERNARD TOMIC: I think Hisense is an amazing court. It’s huge. The atmosphere builds there. Everybody is behind everybody. It’s a good court.

Regardless of where I play, I think I’m going to have huge support. It’s an amazing feeling to see people supporting in a Grand Slam the Australian players. It’s very motivating. I hope the fans can all support us.

 

Belinda Bencic

Belinda Bencic

Q. How did you find out about your first-round opponent? What was your reaction?
BELINDA BENCIC: Twitter (smiling). My Twitter was blowing up. I was like, What’s going on? That’s when I saw it.

My first reaction was actually, like, really happy. So I think I’m super pumped, like excited I get to play on the big court, I guess.

Yeah, like everyone is like, Oh, bad luck with the draw. Me, I’m, like, pretty happy and excited about it.

Q. Why do you think it’s not bad luck?
BELINDA BENCIC: Well, I think we’re going to play on the big court. It’s a big match, playing against Serena Williams. It’s what everyone’s working for. To play Australian Open, of course like first round, but that’s how it is. I’m just pumped about it, yeah.

Q. What are your memories of that match at the Rogers Cup against her?
BELINDA BENCIC: Memories, like, they never go away. They’re always there. The best ones, for sure.

I still remember, like, the last game, like every point, everything. It was, for sure, my biggest win until now.

I hope I can take this memory and put it to positive energy to be, like, super confident on the court, and play good.

Q. Do you remember thinking after that match or when you talked to your father, whoever, about what exactly you thought you did well in that match to get that win?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yes, I think I did very well that I always, you know, even though she killed me the first set, I always stayed there, putting the balls back, playing, trying the best. I always was there.

At some point she also got a little bit, like, down in the match. That’s where I kind of could take the overhand and get to the third set, yeah.

Q. It seems as though you’ve had a tough time in the last year or so physically. How do you feel right now? If we were to look at 100%, where are you right now?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, exactly, last year was very tough. I got one injury, then it was a circle into the next one. I just didn’t stop. I was really happy about it. I came back, didn’t play very good.

Now I think I’m really motivated to play, first of all. I’m so happy to be here.

Physically I have nothing that bothers me, except this thing in Sydney. No, I think I’m pretty close to 100%.

Q. People see you as a dangerous floater, somebody who can cause trouble. Do you feel yourself that way? Do you feel like somebody that Serena should be not afraid of, but somebody that can possibly make some noise here?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, of course I want to see myself that way. I think I had good result when I was playing. Of course I was injured. It was not that great. But first of all, every first-round opponent is a dangerous floater, so you have to be careful with everyone.

But, I mean, we played each other two times already. We both know what to expect now. I think it will be, for sure, a good match, yeah.

Q. How is the toe?
BELINDA BENCIC: It’s good. It fell off (laughter). If you want to see a video or something.

No, no, it’s okay. The physio take good care of me, they tape it for the match, for the practices. When I stop, it’s not that bad. I made a hole into my shoe, so I don’t put it like this.

But it’s a common tennis injury. It’s the first time I had.

Q. Can you talk through your pre-season a little bit. Where did you do it? What was the main priority, especially given your last season? What was the main thing you were working on?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, I practice in Florida, at Evert Academy. We flew straightaway to Perth. I think the main priority was for sure to stay healthy. I didn’t practice that much like I’m used to. I didn’t work that much on fitness, that much on tennis. My priority was to stay healthy, to always feel good on the court.

I think we did pretty well. Then I had a great first tournament in Perth, so that help me a lot to get the matches again. It was amazing. Put me in a positive mood from the first tournament in the year.

Q. Do you remember what sort of game plan it was that worked against Serena last time? Are you already thinking, I know it worked, I can do that again?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, for sure I remember. I’m going to try to do that again. I’m not going to tell you now what exactly because then she will know (smiling).

Q. Quick turnaround from Sydney over to here. How are you feeling with all of the matches in your body through the first two weeks of the season?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, to be honest, I feel very good. I think much better than in China after the first couple matches. Of course, losing the match rhythm, your body not used to the matches last two months…

I feel good. Of course, losing finals always disappointing. But still a good week. Couple great matches against top players. So hoping I can play the same good tennis here in Melbourne.

Q. Your opponent in round one is a former world No. 31. She actually beat you in your last meeting in the French Open. What was your reaction when you saw she was your first-round opponent?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes, well, it’s a tough draw for sure. We played so many times. Obviously in Paris the last time, but we had a lot of good three-set matches I think on every surface.

Well, the draw is the draw. We’ll see after the match.

Q. Your performance in Sydney, you said yourself you couldn’t have played any better. You must be pretty confident heading in.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yeah, I’m very confident. I really hope I can play the same tennis, even the tennis I played in the final.

Well, of course, every tournament is different story. Especially in the tough first round. Well, I still have two days to practice here, adjust to surface and conditions. We’ll see.

Q. Pironkova can be a tricky opponent. Does it help you kind of having the string of wins and the matches? It’s almost like you’re mid tournament form instead of going in completely cold.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yeah, for sure, tournament like Sydney is helping a lot. Playing pretty much two, three days later against a good player for sure is better than playing as a first match.

So, like you said, Pironkova is a very tricky opponent. I’m expecting everything from her side. For sure it’s going to be a lot of running. I’m going to really have to work on each point.

Q. Have you had a chance to hit on these courts yet?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Not yet. I just arrived like two hours ago.

Q. With the heat in Sydney, it was a hot week there, how does that make you feel heading into the tournament? Does that make you feel more confident with the conditions?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, I was the lucky one playing in the evenings. But it was still very humid and hot. But, yes, well, that was for sure a very good warmup before here. I know it’s going to be hot as well here next week.

We’ll see the schedule. Of course, playing second or third match isn’t going to be easy.

Q. Most people talk about your chances of winning Wimbledon, but you’ve had good success here in the past, semifinals last year. What helps you in your game here at Melbourne Park? What has been the challenge of making the final here?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, every Grand Slam is different. We can see even different top seeds, different opponents.

What is helping? I really feel good on this center court. I like to play here. I like Australia. I’ve been always playing good tennis here. Two semis. Of course, that’s always very close till the end. Hopefully I can do one step forward and play seven matches here.

Q. Does Kerber and everything she did last year play on your mind at all in terms of being a player of that generation, being able to have that very unexpected breakthrough? Do you think of that at all? Is it a separate thing?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, I think this is big inspiration for everyone. Winning two Grand Slams the same year, other couple big finals. That’s for sure something amazing. She really played unbelievable tennis whole season. She just proved that she can do it. I mean, two Grand Slams just from pretty much nowhere.

But, well, I think in moments that’s going to happen. I think she just proved that last year, that she can really play great tennis, beating even Serena in the final.

 

Karolina Pliskova

Q. You had the week off. How are you feeling after Brisbane? How is the body feeling fitness-wise and all that?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I took just two days off, then I’ve been practicing here since Tuesday. Even yesterday. I had three days off.

But I’ve been feeling good so far. Yeah, I was even ready for Monday start, but will be ready even for Tuesday.

Q. How are the courts playing for you?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I was practicing few times on the outside courts, which I think is pretty fast. Obviously the bigger courts are not that fast, I would say, but still fast.

I like it. So let’s see.

Q. Has your life changed very much in the Czech Republic after being in the US Open final?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Not much. It was already kind of before the same. When we won the Fed Cup final, then it changed, I would say. I don’t know how many people are following this tournament in Czech. But Fed Cup is just the biggest thing in Czech.

So little bit, and now it’s still about the same, so… It’s not that bad, but like people recognize me a little bit.

Q. Do you mind that? Do you care that people recognize you?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I don’t need this, to be honest, no. I’m fine with that. I just know it. It cannot get any other way than this. But I don’t need it, definitely not (smiling).

Q. Has your preparation for Grand Slams changed over the years or is it pretty much the same preparing for the Open, as it was in New York, other slams before that?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I would say this week is similar to New York actually with the playing. I won Cincinnati, then I would withdraw from New Haven. I’m trying to be 100% ready, even if I feel something a little bit after that week in Brisbane. If you’re playing well, have a lot of matches, I don’t see any reason to play another tournament which is ending Saturday, then you would have to still play on Monday, which I think it’s tough, especially in these conditions here in Australia.

That’s what I did in New York, as well. So I just did it here.

I don’t know if it’s going to worked. But I just want to leave everything in this tournament, in this Grand Slam. For me the main goals are Grand Slams. So I want to be ready for it.

Q. Which Grand Slam do you think you have the best chance to win?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Well, I should now say US Open because I was in the final there. But, yeah, I think I have chance little bit everywhere. It’s smallest I would say obviously the clay, French Open.

Q. Do you consider yourself as one of the favorites to win this year, after winning Brisbane and playing so well over there?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I would definitely not take me as a favorite of this tournament. It’s a big draw. There is a lot of players. I just take it step by step.

I just know my opponent from the first round. I want to pass this one. Then we can talk about the next one.

There is still I think many more players better than me. I guess everyone is in shape and everyone is excited to play this Grand Slam. It’s the first Grand Slam of the year. Everyone was working hard in the off-season, so it’s tough to say. We will just see after few rounds here.

Q. You just got a new coach. What do you want from a coach?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I just want him to believe in me and just to prepare me for the tournament which I want to play the best tennis, which are all the Grand Slams, like I said. Just to be ready and give me the advices which I need, just to know little bit about me, my game. I want him to go the way where I want to go. We both decided we definitely want to play aggressive tennis. He’s just pushing me this way, to be better player than I am now.

Q. What do you like from on-court coaching? How can he help?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: So far with my new coach I did it just once in Brisbane. Was not that needed there. So let’s see in the next tournaments.

But, yeah, it’s more about maybe tactics, what to play. Obviously you call coach when you are losing, it’s about the same. He sees it definitely different from the place where he’s sitting than me on the court. Maybe he can just give me few advices, what to play, what not to play, where she’s better or not. Also little bit to motivate.

You have one minute. You cannot say much.

Q. What’s the primary memory you have when you won the junior title here?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: It’s seven years now, so… I still remember, of course I do. But, yeah, it was my first Grand Slam what I’ve played. So obviously the final, what I was playing on Rod Laver, it was huge for me. I was small and scared, and then I won. So was a big thing, first big result what I ever had.

Q. What do you make the vibe of the Melbourne? You did so well at the US Open. That’s a tournament that’s very New York. It’s crowded, loud, hot, traffic. Melbourne is very different from that. Does this environment suit you during your off time?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I would say this is little bit better place for me than New York. But I don’t want to compare. Every city is different. Here you have time. Doesn’t take you one hour to get to the hotel, which is nice. Even the weather I would say it’s quite similar. Can be colder. Can be also more hot here.

Yeah, every Grand Slam is different. I think this can be the place where I can play my best tennis as well, because the courts suit me. The weather as well, the balls as well. Why not here?

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Day 2 of the US Open – In Their Own Words

Madison Keys

Madison Keys

(August 30, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Posting player interviews throughout the day when allowed.

Note from the US Open Media Operations Guide as why Tennis Panorama News is allowed to post transcripts:

Transcripts of player interviews cannot be posted until one (1) hour after the interview has ended. Player transcripts can only be posted on the website of the publication that was accredited.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Alison Riske

Press Conference

M. KEYS/A. Riske

4-6, 7-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Where did you think the match kind of turned a little bit on you?
ALISON RISKE: It’s 2:00 a.m. Maybe that has something to do with it.

She played very well. I did the best I could. Yeah.

Q. It was the latest finish ever for a women’s match here. Do you think being in that sort of unfamiliar territory of playing after 1:00 a.m. was tough for you?
ALISON RISKE: No. I thought I had a high level out there, I really did. I was just joking about the fact that it was 2:00 a.m.

I didn’t feel like it was, you know, anything different than what I’m used to. You know, no, it didn’t feel different.

Q. Are you a night person?
ALISON RISKE: No.

Q. When you went out there, you really took it to her and played a good, aggressive style. When is the last time you remember being consistent and hitting the ball that consistently that deep in a match like this?
ALISON RISKE: Two weeks ago at Cincinnati when I was playing against Kuznetsova. I feel like I’ve been bringing this level pretty consistently, and I think it’s only a matter of time before things start turning my way.

Q. When you’re out on a night session on Ashe, is that most dominant for you, or that you’re playing a friend of yours?
ALISON RISKE: Neither. I played on Ashe before, so I’ve had a couple matches under my belt. Tonight I felt the most comfortable I have, so I feel it’s a step in the right direction.

Madison obviously is an unreal player. She was able to pick it up in the end. That’s why she won the match.

Q. Did you actually notice what time it was?
ALISON RISKE: No, no. I had no idea. I had no idea.

 

Madison Keys

Press Conference

M. KEYS/A. Riske

4-6, 7-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Do you enjoy having the record of latest match ever or…
MADISON KEYS: Now that I’m a part of it, yay. Let’s try not to break it. (Laughter.)

Q. What was she doing well in the first set?
MADISON KEYS: I think she played really well. I think errors started kind of creeping in a little bit at the end. I wasn’t totally expecting her level to be as high.

I mean, especially her forehand. She was hitting it really well. You know, she was pushing me back. She was dictating. Normally I would get a ball I could be aggressive on she was handling really well for the first set and 12 games.

I was really happy that I just kind of stuck in there and was able to eventually kind of break her down.

Q. First set at a slam, dropping it, it can be a bit of a panic moment for many players. How close did you get to that panic mode and how did you claw it back?
MADISON KEYS: I feel like I actually handled it really well. Being down a set and a break first round of the US Open is never a comfortable feeling. I knew if I let that panic set in then it would just go downhill, so it was a very conscious effort to stay really mellow and be clear thinking.

Q. What is that panic like? Are you thinking, Oh, my god. I lost first round. Everyone is going to think I’m slumping. Transcribe some of your inner dialogue for us.
MADISON KEYS: It’s more I want to do so well. I have been training so hard. I don’t understand why this is happening. And then it spirals. If you let it, it can get very bad very quickly.

I think a big key, especially for me, if I start feeling it, take a step back and take a couple seconds and try and regroup and get back to level so that it doesn’t start spiraling.

Q. (Question regarding the shoulder.)
MADISON KEYS: Just a little bit of shoulder pain. I think it was a little bit heavier out there tonight. Yeah, I think with some treatment it will be fine Wednesday.

Q. At any point during the match, down a set and a break, did the stage, opening night on Ashe, start to creep in?
MADISON KEYS: It didn’t actually, surprisingly. I feel really comfortable out on Ashe. That was only my third match on Ashe, but it felt just like another court. The occasion didn’t really ever feel daunting.

It was more of an excitement factor. This is something to kind of rise to the occasion.

Q. How would you describe playing at that hour?
MADISON KEYS: It’s not that bad. I mean, we both knew we were going to be on late today. I slept till almost 11:00 this morning, so I definitely wasn’t awake at like 6:00 a.m. and at the courts at 8:00.

I didn’t show up until like 6:30, so it wasn’t that bad.

Q. You play Kayla Day next. Do you know anything about her at all?
MADISON KEYS: She was in the junior program at the USTA in Carson when I was there. I officially am starting to feel old because she was like the young group. I guess now she’s winning Kalamazoo and stuff like that.

I don’t know her. I mean, I know her, but I don’t know how she plays or anything like that. So we’ll get Thomas to watch some videos.

Q. You were two points away from losing. Is that a thing you realize in the match, that it’s that close, or are you so zoned in that you don’t notice?
MADISON KEYS: I didn’t really think about it honestly. Obviously I knew it was really close in the tiebreaker, but it never really sunk in that it was two points.

I knew when we had that long rally and she missed the swing volley, that was when I was like, That was really close. Let’s not do that anymore.

Other than that, it didn’t really come into my mind.

 

Ana Ivanovic

Press Conference

D. ALLERTOVA/A. Ivanovic

7-6, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What do you think made the difference in the tiebreak today?
ANA IVANOVIC: Probably confidence. You know, I had that set point, you know, and I went for my big forehand and it was quite a bad miss because I was a little bit in two minds what to do with it.

I think it was just, yeah, a little bit of confidence at that moment to close out the set.

Q. How important is it then for you to continue to keep going for it if maybe you’re not feeling as confident as you should feel?
ANA IVANOVIC: I think that’s what happened in the second set. I tried to go less for it because I tried to make less errors, basically, and I ended up making more.

It was really hard to find the balance between striking and staying in the points. A lot of times in the second set my ball was dropping short of my backhand and she was in control.

Q. How disappointing is it second year in a row going out first round?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, it is very disappointing. You want to try and do best at the biggest events. I really felt I did everything I could. It is very, very sad.

Q. What do you attribute it to?
ANA IVANOVIC: I mean, it’s a lot of things. Also, my wrist inflamed again.

Yeah, it’s just like I talked about, you know, confidence in these important moments throughout the matches. I feel like I put myself in a position to close out the set or, you know, a break, and then I don’t.

This is what has been really frustrating, so this is something that I really have to reassess and work on.

Q. You have been at the height of the women’s game. How hungry are you to get back and attain that level?
ANA IVANOVIC: Of course that’s what we work for. I really feel like I have a talent to do that. You know, there is a lot of hard work and a lot of health as well involved. This is what I need to do.

I feel like I have been putting a lot of work on court and in the gym over the year. It’s been very frustrating not getting anything in return, because I really feel like I invested my heart and also the work.

You know, it’s really disappointing in that way, so I really have to try and, you know, stay a little bit positive even if it’s very hard.

Q. Where do you feel like you are emotionally and mentally? This has been I think a struggle of a year on court for you. A lot has happened off the court. But do you feel like you have to step back and re-evaluate things?
ANA IVANOVIC: I think so. You know, it’s been very frustrating that throughout the year I felt like my forehand has actually been letting me down, and that’s something that’s my biggest strength.

I really feel like I have to, yeah, reassess, because like I said, I have been putting so many hours on court and in the gym in particular trying to get my body healthy.

Last year I ended up with very, very bad back, and this year it hasn’t been coming back because I worked so hard at it. It’s just like I said, I haven’t been really rewarded for my hard work.

This is something that I have to sort of accept it and, you know, try to actually see why is that happening, you know, and what I can do differently.

Q. Going back both to that answer and to the prior answer, when you said you’d step back, reassess, and address it, reassessing is easy. How do you actually address it? How do you fix that?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well I spoke with my team, What should I do? What can you do differently? You know, it’s sometimes maybe there are new answers.

I try to really play a lot more matches leading up to the US Open, sparring matches, because that’s what I felt I miss. This is maybe something I have to keep at, and then hopefully that can turn it around, sort of get that confidence in the big, important points.

Q. You’re not thinking about walking away from it, though, are you?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, not at all. I just need to really see why is this happening, you know. Because, I mean, I had struggles throughout my career; I had some tough times. This is not the first time I’m going through this.

It just hurts because I know what I invested.

Q. Sometimes in sports they talk about the concept of wanting it too much. Seems like in theory maybe a difficult thing to think about. Is that something you feel like you have ever struggled with?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, all the time. I feel like I have potential and game, but it hasn’t really been coming together. Like I said, it’s not like I don’t work. I really put a lot of hard work. I had four people traveling with me trying to make sure I’m on the right path and doing the right things.

Before when I traveled with one or two persons I was doing much better. You know, these other things that can I have these are the things I have to think about.

Q. When you said you dealt with doubt in the past and you have had struggles and successes, what do you remember from those periods to get out of that?
ANA IVANOVIC: It was a process. It was a process. Nothing happens overnight. You really have to keep at it and keep pushing and having the right approach, day-to-day basis, for it to turn around.

You know, I remember in 2014 when I had a great year. It took me five to six months to actually get in the right shape physically and mentally to be able to do that and to back myself up.

Q. It’s also more difficult, isn’t it, when your seeding starts to fall you start to play tougher players?
ANA IVANOVIC: This actually I don’t really consider, because it’s always a tough draw, so for me doesn’t matter.

Q. Your husband is having a big night tomorrow. Will you be able to watch that special night with him or will you meet afterwards?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, unfortunately I can’t make it there.

Q. On TV?
ANA IVANOVIC: Definitely.

Q. Will you meet here afterwards or…
ANA IVANOVIC: No. Let’s see how my wrist goes and what the next plans are.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #179 at 2016-08-30 16:50:00 GMT

 

Simona Halep

Press Conference

S. HALEP/K. Flipkens

6-0, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I think a lot of people had this match as being tricky. She’s had a good week in New Haven and the score doesn’t reflect that. How do you feel you were playing today?
SIMONA HALEP: I think it was a very good match for me. I started nervous a little bit, but I managed very well. I hit the ball. I took the time to open the court more, because I knew this very difficult to hit from her slice.

She hit a lot of slices today and was not easy, but I like that kind of the game. When it’s slow I have enough time to do everything I want.

I finished some good points, winners, and then the confidence was very high and I could finish in two sets.

Q. How ready did you feel for this tournament?
SIMONA HALEP: 100% ready. I feel good. I feel confident.

I had two good tournaments before coming here. I have no expectations still, but I’m here just to do my job, to enjoy the moment, and to give everything for every match.

Q. You had your best run here last year. You have been going very far in Grand Slams, getting to the final. How ready do you feel you are right now to achieve a title?
SIMONA HALEP: Oh, it’s tough to speak about that.

Q. I know it’s a little early.
SIMONA HALEP: I wish I could win it, but is not easy to think about that. It’s just the first round. I have many matches ahead, and the next round is going to be very tough.

Maybe in my career I will win a Grand Slam. I’m not sure and I don’t know if it’s gonna happen, but I’m here just to work hard, to get better, and to dream for it.

Q. Your results have been very, very good coming into the US Open, so talk about the level of confidence that you can draw from the recent results that you have been having.
SIMONA HALEP: I can say I’m very confident in myself. I feel the game. I move very well on court. I am positive all the time. Sometimes I get upset on myself, but still helps me to stay motivated and to stay focused.

I try to improve day by day, even if I’m playing a tournament. I’m not thinking about this tournament just; I’m thinking in a big picture.

All my thoughts are just through improvement, not to win the match, just one match.

I think helps me this attitude, and I think that it’s important I’m healthy now and I can give everything I have during the matches.

Q. 6-Love, 5-Love match point and —
SIMONA HALEP: You remind me that… (Laughter.)

Q. Was that just concentration?
SIMONA HALEP: Like I said on court, I was nervous to finish the match. 6-0, 5-0 match point against a top 50 player is not that bad. Maybe I was scared that it’s too good.

Then I just wanted to do too much at that point, to hit maybe an ace, which is not my favorite shot. I tried too much and then I got a little bit upset with myself and I was rushing.

But then I just said that I had to calm down and to finish the game.

Q. You also said just now that you had no expectations going into this. Has that always been how you approach Grand Slams, or is that something you have tried to make yourself do?
SIMONA HALEP: I tried this thinking just before Montreal. I tried just to think that I have no expectations. I’m playing good tennis. It’s normal to win; it’s normal to lose. Every player is playing well.

So I have just to keep focused for what I have to do on court and to improve my game.

Q. Is that easy to do?
SIMONA HALEP: It’s not easy, because the desire is very big to win and to think that you have to win or you want to win.

But I’m at the big level now of relaxation. I’m relaxed, and I try just to keep that.

Q. You were talking about finishing the match today. Here when you finish the match and you hit the ball up into the stands, are you aiming? You personally, do you aim at anything in particular, or what goes through your mind when you do that?
SIMONA HALEP: Just to hit it right and someone can catch it. Because sometimes I do wrong and it’s not nice.

But this court is huge, so I cannot hit very high level. But I tried today. I was pretty strong. (Smiling.)

Q. As you look ahead to the next match, when you’re here in New York, is there a particular time you like to play, your favorite time of the US Open?
SIMONA HALEP: I don’t believe last year — last year I played night session. I don’t remember if I played, but I like during the day, even if it’s hot. On center court is the best feeling. Now we don’t have wind and it’s perfect atmosphere to play.

Doesn’t matter when I play, I just want to play and to make like nice atmosphere down there, to play good tennis.

Q. Normally most players during practice they practice wearing shorts. Normally when they play their matches —
SIMONA HALEP: You like my outfit?

Q. I don’t know. I’m asking.
SIMONA HALEP: I love it.

Q. Okay. Fair enough. Do you feel a difference when you play a match not in like a tennis dress or tennis skirt and tennis shorts instead?
SIMONA HALEP: Today I didn’t feel different. I was not paying attention on my outfit, to be honest.

But I like it and I love it. I can say I feel very comfy on it and I will ask adidas to make more shorts for me (Smiling.)

It’s nice and it’s something different so I take it like a very beautiful thing.

Q. A question I always wanted to ask you. So today you’re in such a good mood. Something totally different. Tennis, when you started, when you were young and you started tennis, playing tennis and to become a professional, I want to ask you, did you always — did you ever feel motivated by the old good times of Romanian men’s tennis? Of course I know you know Tiriac well, and Nastase. Was this motivation for you?
SIMONA HALEP: I started when I was very young, around four and a half, but to think I want to be professional tennis player it was around 14. It was not easy for me to get the motivation from them because I didn’t know them. I never met them before.

With Mr. Tiriac I started to talk two years ago so, yeah, not long again.

With Mr. Nastase I’m not talking very often. Just when I see him, just hello and something like that.

But Virginia Ruzici I have since I was 16, 17 like a manager. Yeah, I can say that it was a motivation because she could win a Grand Slam. That is my dream. And I feel that everything is possible when I have her next to me.

Yeah, it’s good motivation, and I try just to keep these people around me to give me motivation and inspiration.

Q. You have said you try to eat a little dessert every day.
SIMONA HALEP: I just have cheesecake. Every day. Yesterday I had a big ice cream on the street.

Q. Any baked goods, bakeries in New York City you’re excited about or looking forward to trying?
SIMONA HALEP: Like a dessert?

Q. Yeah, bakery.
SIMONA HALEP: Cheesecake I am eating here and the chocolate ice cream at the machines on the street. It’s amazing. (Smiling.) I had double yesterday.

Q. You recently posted some pictures at an amusement park on Instagram.
SIMONA HALEP: Cincinnati. I tried a roller coaster.

Q. First time?
SIMONA HALEP: First time in my life and never again. (Laughter.)

I felt that I’m dying. Darren said he was going on all the machines, and I said I’m not going to do that. But he said it was a white one, and I didn’t see completely. Like I just saw the end, and the end was straight. He said, Come on. It’s pretty easy. It’s the lightest one.

I said about what is that? He said, just the speed, but straight. I said, Oh, I love speed, so I can go.

When I went there and that machine was going down, I felt that I’m dying. I said, Darren, never again. He was laughing when I said. It was tough, but it was nice. Good experience.

Q. Are you a screamer or were you silently scared?
SIMONA HALEP: Nothing. I didn’t say anything. I couldn’t breathe. No, I didn’t scream.

 

Kei Nishikori

Press Conference

K. NISHIKORI/B. Becker

6-1, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Cruising right along there and hit a snag in the third set and were able to turn around in the fourth and final set. Assess the match, what happened in the third, and generally how satisfied are you with the result?
KEI NISHIKORI: Actually, I’m very satisfied with tennis today. You know, I think third set he start playing much better, little more aggressive, you know, that he didn’t do it in the first and second.

I think that the one game I didn’t do well is the last two games. I kind of slow it down, and, you know, when I give him little chance then he was attacking really well.

So, you know, I think, you know, credit to him, you know, that he played really well third and fourth.

But I step it up last two games. I play little more aggressive. You know, I took the little chance.

Yeah, like I said, it was great match, and I think good start of this week.

Q. Obviously you’re two years removed from being in the final. You knocked off some of the top players. You know you can do it and you’ve done it on this stage before. Coming into this tournament with good results. How confident are you that you can get back on that stage again?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, yeah. I think there is a lot of chance, for sure, if I can play good. Well, yeah, I got a lot of confidence from Toronto and this summer in Olympics, too. I played some good tennis. You know, beating Rafa, it was great experience I had in Olympics.

So I think I’m feeling pretty good. I took some days off after Cincy, and mentally, physically, I’m ready for these two weeks. I hope I can, you know, come back, you know, later these two weeks.

Yeah, it’s going to be a big goal for me to get this title.

Q. You have played in the Grandstand. How do you like it?
KEI NISHIKORI: It was good. You know, a lot of people show up. I feel very big, you know, huge, huge court. They make a lot of great courts.

Yeah, it was good feeling.

 

Timea Bacsinszky

Press Conference

T. BACSINSZKY/V. Diatchenko

6-1, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Your thoughts on that match and her play. I know she’s had a lot of injuries and things and hasn’t played that much. Your thoughts on her effort and how you were able to get through pretty easy.
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Well, when you get to play a girl which is entering with a protected ranking you never know what to await exactly. You don’t know how in shape she’s going to be.

This was the difficult part of the day. Not knowing what would be just in front of me, which answers she would give to all the questions I’m asking her.

So I figured when you’re not playing for a while, maybe intensity-wise you cannot, like, handle it like maybe for three sets. So I was trying — I told myself, Okay, anyway, just try to put as much intensity as you can and try to make a long match if, let’s say, she’s leading or winning the first set.

Because I didn’t know actually how she was really playing. I asked a little bit around, but no one saw her for last year.

Q. After you won the first set, did the second set feel easier?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Yeah, because then tactic-wise I found some things which were bothering her, so then it’s easier. But really right at the beginning when you step on court you never know what’s going to come, and that was the difficult part for me.

But then it was easier, let’s say, in the second set, but then she calls the physio. It’s not that easy because you have to stick to the game. You just have to get your mind really set on what you have to do and not like is she gonna run? Is she not gonna run? What is is she gonna do? Is she gonna hit harder? Make dropshots?

So I tried just not to think too much. Just okay, I — I decided I’m going to run no matter what. Yeah, that’s what helped me, yeah, to get through this match.

Q. What do you make of your summer so far? Like post Wimbledon, having a little bit of a break, into the Olympics, fantastic result there in doubles, now we’re back on tour and the grind and the slams. What do you make of the last two months?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Well, I was supposed to get a week of holiday the same week of — like the week of Gstaad, but it was like home tournament so I couldn’t — was tough for me because at one point I knew it would be a tough year and I would need to rest at one point.

But I chose to play Gstaad because it was home, and I was all the time complaining there were no tournaments in Switzerland. So I had to assume my status and assume everything what I said in the past, so I played it.

And then so maybe I said that in an interview already. A bought a small boat, motor boat.

Q. Boat?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Yeah, boat, so you can go like on the lake. I’m living next to a lake, so… I mean, in Lausanne, beautiful city of Lausanne, Olympic capital, by the way. Really proud to win a medal as coming from the Olympic capital.

Well, my boyfriend just passed the boat riding/driving or — I mean the boat license. That’s why he didn’t come with me for the last couple of weeks, but then we went with friends. I discovered wake surfing, as well. I’m a big fan of that, as well. It’s not the same the wake board.

You have your feet unattached, and you just have to — you like hang on to a thing, like to come out of water, but then you surf the wave actually created from the boat.

So you put all the — in French it’s (Speaking French) the weight on one side. If you’re goofy it’s on one side; if you’re regular it’s on the other one.

Then you just like ride the wave which the boat is creating. So it was really fun, so I just loved it.

So that was my summer plans.

Q. So that was after Gstaad, before the Olympics?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: It was after Gstaad, yeah. So those were just a couple of days. Then I decided to practice again.

Yeah, well, I went to Swiss tennis, practiced a couple of times with Victorija Golubic, as well. You know she’s one of my best girlfriends definitely on tour. That’s when this whole thing happened, when we were so happy that we were going together to the Olympics and then Belinda doesn’t come. Then she’s at practice with me and Martina says, yeah, well, I’m going to play with Timea. Me, I’m like, What? What? No, no. Not now. No.

Yeah, well, it was kind of strange, but then, yeah, well, Olympics, and it happened the way it happened and it was just like unreal.

Yeah, probably lost — I mean, I had so many unbelievable moments over there, but probably lost a lot of energy, as well.

But, yeah, well, I don’t know if I completed. Like I answered the question more or less.

Q. What did you learn from playing doubles with Martina?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Oh, many things. I mean, many things. For sure tennis-wise the touch, what she has or like the way she can put the ball there or here.

I mean, it’s something that it’s her own thing. Tactic-wise, I didn’t learn much, because on myself I’m playing — using many tactics in my singles, and I played a lot of doubles before, too.

But just now when I came back three years ago I decided to play less and less doubles, because I figured I spare my energy for singles because it’s hard already to do that.

So it’s not something that you can learn or, I mean, for sure she had – she still has – an unbelievable career. But I think I didn’t go there to try to learn something. I went to play the Olympics, to go as far as we could, and try to create something.

I think it worked quite well.

Q. What was going through your mind as you’re standing on the podium and they’re giving you the medal, and, you know, the flags are going up?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: I’m going to cry. (Laughter.) Sorry.

To be honest, I still did not celebrate it really, the Olympics, so sometimes I still cannot realize it. But, you know, like growing up in Lausanne you have all the Olympic committees around. I practiced next to the IOC, the house of the IOC. You have the Olympic museum over there.

As a kid at school, every school of the region goes there to visit at least — probably in the whole scholarship, probably at least three times the Olympic museum.

We went with friends from Hungary, for example. It’s a highlight in Lausanne. You have many things to do, but for tourists, it’s just amazing.

Well, I mean, for me it means like so much. I mean, I was watching the Olympics, and I would never ever really think that I would win a medal one day. That we did it together against all odds.

It was really like not something like that would just work, and it’s gonna be there. Like how it happened that we ended up playing together, and then also feeling like if something is happening between us two, can we create something, trying to lift the other one up.

Like playing like next to Martina sometimes it’s not easy position, as well. But I’m super proud of myself because I held her up sometimes during this event, as well. She was maybe less motivated at the beginning. She was like, Oh, crap, I cannot — I mean, I feel like everyone is letting me down, but you’re the only one who stands here with me. So, like, okay, let’s do it.

I mean, it’s many, many things.

So it means just a huge thing. And like we have accomplished something amazing, but myself, too. Yeah, well, I really never never ever thought that I would be, yeah, coming back home with a medal one day.

So, yeah, it really made me dream a lot when I was a kid even though tennis is not really in history of the Olympics, but — sorry. I continue speaking. You guys know I speak a lot.

Something which was really amazing, and sometimes it was tough even to come back on tour, because over there it’s some — I mean, it’s — how you say in French? (Speaking French).

Q. Temporary.
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: No. It has like no — you’re like, how do you say?

Q. Intangible? Temporal? Like it’s just not… Continue.
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Yeah, it’s not connected to anything. Like you get there, you get to meet people, you don’t know them and probably you’re never going to see them again, but at least in the Village you just feel respect which is like around everyone there.

There’s no aggressivity. Like really almost like — with me everyone was nice. I mean, and I myself, probably I was shining more than usually. I was laughing more because I really felt like the energy of it.

Okay, it’s only two weeks in a year or three weeks in a year and that’s sad, because it should be — every competition for me should be like that. Because you’re not — it’s not like — even in tennis we use sometimes, Oh, what are your weapons? Oh, come on, guys. You’re not doing that for war. We use weapons for war. But why do we use that also in our vocabulary?

And really, at the Olympics I really felt like you meet an athlete, you just talk for five minutes or even two or you trade a pin. This is the best invention ever for myself, or for what I really think, because otherwise maybe people would be too shy to talk with each other.

But like that, you can go to any country in the world and say, Ah, Palau. Didn’t even know it existed. Or Tuvalu. Where is it on the world map?

Yeah, like you get curious and then you’re like, Oh, which sport are you in? What are you doing? Oh, I lost to her or I got injured. Then you really feel like it’s how sad it is and how much it means to people. Then, okay, you say, bye-bye, good luck, all the best for you, and you’re probably never going to meet him or her again.

But the human contact, the exchange, is just natural, simple, and it’s nice. And all the images that you see from the Olympics are usually full of positive emotions of sportsmanship, of — you try to give really your best. For sure sometimes sadness or like you lost or you didn’t get the bronze medal, and there are only nice images for me.

Yes, for sure in Judo you had this poor, poor guy which did not to salute his opponent, which is like terrible. But it’s one. One out of how many nice things.

Yeah, as I came back on tour it was not like — you feel like sometimes the tension that people have in their eyes, like even on the tennis tour. You’re like, Guys, I didn’t do anything. Like calm down. You feel the aggressivity sometimes, which I was sincerely not feeling at the Olympics.

You go back to the Swiss house and all the other Swiss athletes, they are really like 100% sincere that they are so happy for you that you got a medal, because they know how tough it is and how much you work all year long for that and how big it means to everyone.

I really felt — it’s the first time in my life I really felt like 100% of sincerety out of people or other athletes which were like, Oh, wow. I saw that you won a medal. Oh, how amazing. Do you have it? Can I just see it?

And this like — I think the world just should be like. Unluckily there are no Olympics every week. It wouldn’t be that special probably. But it made me realize that it’s, yeah, many things.

 

Stan Wawrinka

Press Conference

S. WAWRINKA/F. Verdasco

7-6, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Your buddy Roger isn’t here. How does it feel without him around to talk to and discuss things with? How is it not to have Roger here to talk to and as a friend to discuss things?
STAN WAWRINKA: No. It’s hard for the tournament, for the fans, for the tennis, for everybody.

Roger is so important for the tennis, and it’s unfortunate he’s injury for the rest of the year. It’s not the best for the tournament, but now that the tournament started I’m focused on my game.

Q. Does it matter to you at all just as a personal thing?
STAN WAWRINKA: No.

Q. Focusing on your match today, obviously facing a difficult first-round opponent, getting through in straight sets. How happy are you with the result?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, I’m really happy. I think it was a great match, especially for first round. You never expect to play your best game and full of confidence, but I think the level was quite high.

Fernando is a tough player to play. He can be really aggressive. He don’t give you so much rhythm, so it’s not easy. But I think in general I’m happy with what I did. I was really focused on myself. I was moving really well for first one. I’m getting some confidence from that match.

Q. Your fitness or condition coming in, do you feel confident that you can once again go far here?
STAN WAWRINKA: Pretty, yes, but it’s a Grand Slam. You need focus match after match. In general, I’m really confident with my preparation, with the way I’m playing in practice court, the way I’m moving.

I think everything has been really well. I had almost 10 days here in New York to do great preparation. Again, now, I’m focused on the tournament, match after match.

But the way I started today, I’m really happy with that. Let’s see what’s gonna happen the next few days and weeks.

Q. You have won both of these Grand Slam meetings. Is it something about the mental edge in the big tournaments or is it best of five or do you elevate your game a little more, do you think?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah. I think also last few years I have been way better tennis player in the court, especially on big events.

Today, again, I knew I was ready physically to get there. Tough condition at the beginning, but, yeah, I think in general I’m better than few years ago. That’s make the difference.

Q. One of the traditions is when you hit the balls into the crowd after the match, how do you determine where you’re going to hit them? If you were playing in Ashe, would you ever try to hit the ball out?
STAN WAWRINKA: I don’t think you can. (Smiling.) But the good thing here is you can send a ball as hard as you can. That’s always good.

No, it’s depends. I look out in the crowd. I look where are the people who really are making some noise. I look where are the Swiss fans and the young people. It depends. That’s why I give a little bit to each side.

Q. This season it looks like you’re going with very bright colors that you are wearing. Do you like your outfit here and compared to the other two Grand Slams where you already have the bright colors?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, it’s a bright year so far for me, in Grand Slams especially. No, it’s okay. I can also put some more black if I want. First time I’m going with the pink shirt and short. We’ll see how it looks on the picture, and then I will decide if I go back to the black one.

Q. A lot of errors in the tiebreaker. You made fewer of them. What was your assessment of that? In the tiebreaker were you worried?
STAN WAWRINKA: No. I think I’m really happy with the tiebreaker. Was important, especially first set, to take that set. He had more opportunity during the set. He had some break points, but I was trying to find little by little my game.

Was important for the rest of the match to take the tiebreak. I start to play way better after that.

Q. The focus has been on Roger, Rafa, Novak, Andy, but you’re right up there. Expectations are high for you. People come out to see your matches. Do you feel that? Do you feel that, say, compared to a few years ago? How do you handle sort of the elevated expectations?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, for sure it’s different than few years ago. Everything is different. I have been winning some Grand Slam, my ranking is No. 3 in the world, I’m seeded 3 here. Playing first round on Ashe everything is different.

But also for myself. My expectations for myself are more higher than before. For me, the most important thing is to focus on what I can control, all the practice, all the schedule, giving everything every practice being ready for the tournament.

Right now I know I’m ready for here, for the tournament. And now I’m going to see how I’m going to deal with the pressure, with the match, and trying to play the best I can until as far as I can.

 

Janko Tipsarevic

Press Conference

J. TIPSAREVIC/S. Querrey

7-6, 6-7, 6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What does a win like today tell you about where you are in your comeback?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: I always celebrate a little bit more in tennis than I should. But, you know, two years and three months not competing kind of takes a lot from you (smiling).

Beating a very good player on a big court means a lot, a lot. I feel the challenger that I won prior to come to the US Open two weeks ago, even though it was on clay, it wasn’t that strong, gave me confidence because I won it from quallies, and I won seven matches in a row. It’s just nice to hear, Game, set, match, Tipsarevic.

When you have practice and wins behind you, hopefully this will help me go deep into the tournament.

Q. How do you rank Armstrong in terms of courts?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: I like Armstrong. I don’t think I ever lost a match on that court. I didn’t play many, maybe five, six, but I don’t think I ever lost a match on that court.

It’s a good court. It’s very wide, so if it’s not completely full, it looks half empty. It’s not fair. We have a similar situation with Belgrade Arena, which is like 20,000 people. It happens to us sometimes when we play Davis Cup and 10,000 people come to watch us, and it looks half empty, but there’s a lot of people there.

So it’s not really compact, so it kind of looks like it’s half empty, but there’s a lot of seats. It’s a very, very big court.

Q. What is your favorite court?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Grandstand. It’s a very weird court. All of the courts here at the US Open have a lot of space, left, right and behind. And Grandstand is quite small. It’s kind of like if you remember the Memphis center court, it’s really, really compact and small. A lot of players take time to get used to it. But I played a lot of matches on that court and I’m prepared from the very beginning.

Q. You have an active mind and a lot of interests. What has kept you focused on tennis these years that you’ve had all these injuries and struggles?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: You know, at the beginning it was a little bit of a relief because in 2013 I was playing half injured. For the amount of painkillers I was taking in 2013, the enzymes of my liver went four times more as they should be. So I was really screwed up.

So in the beginning it was a little bit of a relief, saying, Okay, I’m going to take two, three months even off, skip to Australian Open, be hungry, come back. Since the first injury was a benign tumor, it was way more complicated than anybody thought. Even in the first six or seven or eight months, it wasn’t that bad.

But then after I did the second surgery, and part of the recovery which didn’t go as planned, which we are already a year and something into this, I was really struggling a lot mentally.

My family helped me. We had a beautiful little daughter at that time, so I had something to keep my mind busy. The worst part is at that point I couldn’t even really practice because I was basically four months in an actual bed, like not being able to walk on crutches or wheelchair or whatever.

If you can practice or run or go to the gym, it’s kind of easier. I even played tennis for a while sitting on a chair because I couldn’t stand. I’m not crying you a river here; I’m just telling you how it actually was.

To answer your question shortly, I hated tennis at that point and I hated actually other sports. I couldn’t watch other sports because I felt jealous of all the other athletes. They could run and do what they like, and I’m just sitting at home and watching TV.

I didn’t think about tennis that much.

Q. In the match today, your defense was really outstanding. Do you feel that’s a sign you’re back from injury?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Thank you for noticing. This was the biggest, biggest change which I’m finally starting to feel in the last three or four weeks only. Getting my forehands, backhands back, even serve, I don’t want to say piece of cake, but was quite easy.

Being mobile like I was in my prime was the toughest thing. A big part of that is my new fitness coach, Professor Dusch Covilic, who is a professor of biomechanics. We are working on very specific movements. He has helped me a lot to improve my defense. We have only been working for a month, so he hasn’t had a lot of time.

I am injury-free for quite a while now, so I am finally starting to feel confidence in my body to defend in some of the more crucial moments of the match.

Q. When you were in your prime before you were injured, how do you think your game has changed from that point to now coming back?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: I know this will sound funny, but I believe even when I was in my prime, I still didn’t play my best tennis. When I was in my prime, I believe I served outstandingly well and I was very disciplined as a player, meaning I wasn’t making stupid, unforced errors, I wasn’t going for winners from the position that I shouldn’t. I was trying not to be this kind of flashy player. I was a very disciplined player, with obviously weapons which I was using on the court.

I didn’t feel that I used my aggressive tennis to the fullest potential. Hopefully I will be the old Janko next year at the Australian Open. I mean, only in the last three or four weeks I’m able to do stuff even on fitness without thinking what might happen with the knee or with the hip or with the foot or whatever. So this gives me a lot of confidence towards the end of the year where I’m highly motivated to hopefully make enough points not to be needing wild cards or protected rankings for next year.

Q. How much confidence did you take from winning the challenger in China a couple weeks ago?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: A lot. I mean, I know the cutoff was really low. It was a big challenger, 125 plus eight, so winner was getting basically same amount of points as a final of the ATP.

But I got back playing few weeks before the French Open. I was playing well, but I was always – I know this sounds very bad, but I was really having bad draws. Even challengers, I was playing against like first round Jiri Vesely, who beat Djokovic in Monte-Carlo. Then I played, in a challenger, Carlos Berlocq, who was a top-30 player. On big events I end up playing first round Raonic, first round Cilic, first round Simon, guys who even if I’m playing well I don’t like playing.

I feel like I needed a few of the wins to get the confidence back. I was even offered to play a wild card, I refused, I wanted to grind and win my way through quallies. So it really did help a lot.

Q. Has anyone’s particular journey back from being away from tennis or injury or something else inspire you as you’ve tried to come back, any other player you can point to?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: I had a very turbulent career, you know. Good junior, bad junior, great junior, good senior, bad senior, up and down, up and down. I never had a comeback. I was, up until 2013, generally a very healthy player.

I don’t have a person who motivates me to say, I want to come back like Andre Agassi or something like that. I want to do this because of myself.

The only guy on tour who can actually really relate to the pain and suffering that I went through is Juan Martin del Potro. We ended up on a practice court at Wimbledon actually more talking than practicing about everything that’s been. Both of us had three surgeries. For both of us it happened when we were playing great tennis. We were basically interrupting each other with what was going on through our minds in this, like, moments of depression and sadness, just not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Injuries are part of the sport. I know Rafa and all the other guys, they were injured a lot. To have this amount of injury for this significant period of time, he’s the only player that can actually relate to what happened.

 

Jared Donaldson

Press Conference

J. DONALDSON/D. Goffin

4-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What does that feel like to beat the No. 12 player in the world and get your first US Open win?
JARED DONALDSON: Obviously it was a really, really exciting atmosphere out there. I thought that I played really well. It was tough conditions. It was hot. I think we were both trying to move each other as much as possible and take time away from each other.

So I think that, you know, I just was able to win a few more of the key points today. Obviously that fourth set I played really well.

I think it was a really, really special victory for me.

Q. Seemed like your backhand was the thing that was giving you the most trouble the first set and a half, then you turned it around.
JARED DONALDSON: Yeah. I mean, I think out there it was flying a little bit. I was missing a couple more balls deep than I normally do. That could be because it was a little bit hotter than I played recently. Maybe wasn’t getting quite enough spin on the ball. But I also wanted to make sure I was hitting an effective ball against David because if not I knew I was going to be in trouble and he was going to move me. It could have been that. It could have been a few different factors out there for why it wasn’t going in.

But I just, you know, kept fighting, and eventually things started to go my way.

Q. Talk about your serve, how much that’s been a factor in what you’ve been able to do this summer.
JARED DONALDSON: Certainly my serve has improved a lot since working with Taylor and I feel that is a big key to my game, especially when I’m able to hold easier, not have to grind out so many points.

First set, I served really weak. I think I served like 26% or something, it was pretty poor. But, again, I just kept fighting and things started to turn my way. Once I got a little bit of confidence, kind of got my teeth in the match, I think I really went out and did everything I was supposed to do on the serve, not only on from the serve but from the groundstrokes. Obviously serving well is key, not only for me, but for a lot of guys.

Q. Was there a point in the match where you actually could feel that you were gaining confidence, becoming more aggressive? Was there something that happened that turned that for you?
JARED DONALDSON: I think that after the second set, I felt honestly like I kind of stole that set. Broke back I think at 4-2 or something like that. Then kind of just kept holding, kept fighting. Then at 6-5, me, I felt that he just maybe had — he let me into the match a little bit playing not an amazing game.

Then I felt like that kind of started to get the ball rolling for me. I got a little bit of confidence. I said, Hey, I won the first set, I can definitely win another, and if I can win another, I can win the third.

I think after winning that second set, it gave me a little bit of confidence, especially after being a break down.

Q. How big was getting the break back to get yourself back into the match, back on serve?
JARED DONALDSON: Yeah, it was big because I was trying everything in the wrong direction. Obviously being down two sets to love is not where you want to be. Normally it’s over for you. Obviously in a slam you play a third.

But I knew if I was down two sets to love, that was going to be a tall order. But, again, I just kept fighting and kept doing what I try to do every match, control things I can control. And eventually, just when the big point game, things just seemed to kind of fall in my direction.

I think that’s kind of the position you have to put yourself in as a tennis player. The big points are going to come. You just have to be ready when they do. Sometimes you win more of them, sometimes you don’t. It’s a very fine line between winning and losing out there.

Q. The mental thing, there’s so many ups and downs in a match, in your career. Is it forcing yourself to have a short memory and move on? How do you deal with all that stuff?
JARED DONALDSON: Well, I think obviously today I kind of had a short memory. It wasn’t something I was focusing on. I was just trying to focus on what I needed to do at that point to win.

I kind of learned that playing against better players, you can’t really dwell on the past. The past is the past. It’s kind of next point, you know. You just got to focus on the next point.

I felt like I did that really well today. There were times when I didn’t play great games; there were times he didn’t play great games. When the big moment came, I just seemed to play, you know, good tennis.

I served obviously really well. Got a lot of cheap points on my serve. That definitely helped.

I felt like I just put myself in positions to make it close, then obviously to win the match and the sets.

Q. Does that apply as well to wins and losses, to move on, not get too down?
JARED DONALDSON: Sure, yeah. I mean, obviously right now it’s great. During the match, just briefly after, it was great to win. Now it’s only the first round. In a lot of other sports you get maybe a little bit more longer breaks to enjoy the moment.

But, I mean, now it’s kind of on to my next round. I have to get ready for my next opponent, just do all the right things to be 100% ready mentally, physically for Thursday.

Q. Taylor Dent, big serve, tennis heritage, real courage. Talk to us about what he’s like.
JARED DONALDSON: Taylor has kind of crafted my game since I just turned 17, for all the kind of things I’m doing out there now is a reflection of his influence on me, coaching with me, working with me. I owe a lot to him.

I think that his influence and how he believes the game should be played is how I play the game and what I believe. I think we work really well together because we see things maybe not — we have the overall picture of what we see, but we don’t arrive at the same conclusion the same way. You know what I mean?

We see the same overall picture the same, which I think is really important for a coaching relationship. I think that he’s done a good job and I’ve done a good job also of kind of listening to him and then working really hard at doing what he said.

Q. Be a little bit more specific on the overall picture. What areas of the game?
JARED DONALDSON: I mean, so I started working with him to work on the serve. That was the main reason I went out there. But he’s also added so much more to my game than just the serve. He changed my technique on the serve when I went out there at 17. Changed my technique again a little bit ago, right before this hard court swing.

That’s obviously his influence. My serve is basically because of Taylor and Phil. But also just trying to play aggressive, take time away from the opponent. That’s also an influence of him as well.

The serve is maybe the biggest thing, but everything you see out there has been influenced by Taylor and so forth.

Q. You’ve been here a couple times before. Did you go into this match thinking, Now it’s time?
JARED DONALDSON: I don’t really go into matches thinking, Now it’s time, or I have to do something. Obviously when I saw the draw, I was thinking, Okay, this is my third time here, second time playing I think a top player. So I knew that going in. I’m not oblivious to those things. You’re human. You run through so many scenarios in your head.

I knew I think playing recently that everybody’s good, but there’s fine lines in tennis. So I think it’s important to remember that big points come for both players. You just have to keep focusing on what you can control and not kind of let outside distractions distract you. That’s what I did out there. I think I did that pretty well today.

Q. He double-faulted 17 times today. He said it got mental with him towards the end, which of course happens. You seemed to be attacking his second serve as the match went on. Were you cognizant that he was just trying to get it in? What’s going through your mind as he’s double-faulting? Are you thinking, I’m going to be aggressive on every second serve?
JARED DONALDSON: Especially in the fourth set, I was trying to be very aggressive on the second serve, make points quick. I think in general that’s kind of how I play.

Sometimes, especially against him, where he plays such good defense and keeps the ball so deep, the second serve might be the weakest shot you get during the whole rally. I knew I had to take my chances and play aggressive when the opportunity presented itself because I wanted to take time away from him and rush him, not have it be the other way around. Where in the first set, I felt I didn’t do a great job returning. Also I think when I left the ball too weak for him, he was really hurting me. So, again, I knew I had to play the point on my terms and be aggressive and so forth.

Obviously, yes, I think that him double-faulting did benefit me, of course. But I also think it was kind of a two-way street where maybe he lost a little bit of confidence or knowing that he needs to put a good second serve in so he’s not moving so much. I think both things kind of came into play.

 

Bernard Tomic

Press Conference

D. DZUMHUR/B. Tomic

6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Pretty frustrating day for you out there.
BERNARD TOMIC: No, it wasn’t that frustrating. I think he just played a good match. I think everyone sort of looked far ahead and prospected me and Nick in the third round. I think everyone wanted to see that. The media was too focused on that.

I think I didn’t give everyone what they wanted. So full credit to the player I played today. It’s a match I lost. But it’s been a good U.S. season for me the last four or five weeks. I played some good tennis. But unfortunately today I was a little bit tired and I played a quality player.

Q. Did the media expectations distract you today, make you lose focus?
BERNARD TOMIC: No. I was a little bit tired. I played a lot of tennis, especially last few weeks. I played quality tennis. Today was tough for me. I knew I had to play a lot of balls against him. He’s beaten a few players in the top 10, Berdych, et cetera. I knew it was going to be tough because I played him here last year in the first round.

For me to play this match tonight, I knew I had to use my feet, my legs, and be on every ball. I just couldn’t find the energy. I just needed to find something. Even my serve was off.

But he was playing very, very good. I spoke to him in the locker after. He said he played a very, very good match.

Q. What was the situation with the heckler in the crowd?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I think he was just baiting me a bit. You know, I don’t want to get into it. I apologized for what I said to him. I think after he left the first set, I think the crowd got happy he left because he was a bit annoying. But it’s okay.

Q. He was actually kicked out?
BERNARD TOMIC: I have no idea. I just saw he left and the crowd clapped a bit. But I have no idea who he is. I apologized for what I said to him. I just continued to play after the second, third set and fourth.

Q. What was the exchange you had with the chair umpire?
BERNARD TOMIC: The chair umpire? When was that?

Q. Did he talk to you about what you said?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, no, he just asked me who was that, what was this. I just said some guy. I don’t know who it was. The whole time I didn’t know who it was. I’m focusing on the court. That’s my priority.

There was some stuff in the background as I was playing balls and returning. It’s tough. I watched a little bit today of Tipsarevic also and Querrey. There were some similar situations with the crowd yelling and people talking in between points. Big points, I should say. It was maybe not good that the crowd got too excited or sometimes speaking in the points, it’s not fair. I think we’re here to all play and everything has to be equal.

Nothing was really said with me and the umpire. He just asked me what was the problem.

Q. Is what he was saying to you similar to what you said back to him?
BERNARD TOMIC: I don’t know. I just turned around. It was the same sort of voice. He was just sort of saying negative stuff. I didn’t know who it was because I was just focusing on the court. It was tough to figure out in the background.

It’s passed and I don’t really care who this guy is.

Q. What sort of things were said?
BERNARD TOMIC: I can’t remember at the moment. I don’t want to talk about it anymore because I do not remember what he was saying to me. It was just in that moment. But it’s okay.

Q. What you said was picked up on camera, is on YouTube already. What do you think of that?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I think obviously — you know, I apologized to what I said to him. He definitely baited me the whole set for me to say that. But I do apologize. If there were people around that heard, yeah, that’s all I can say.

Q. You had a discussion with Dzumhur at the handshake. Anything related to that?
BERNARD TOMIC: No, Dzumhur is a good friend of mine. I respect him a lot. I just wished him the best and encouraged him to continue his great form this week. Hopefully he can do well for himself here.

Q. (Question regarding Davis Cup.)
BERNARD TOMIC: I haven’t thought about anything yet. I’m just tired lately, last month, two. Especially after Wimbledon. I went to Washington straightaway. Was playing pretty okay. Then Toronto. Was flying a lot.

It’s tough. Tennis, you have to be really fit and stuff. I’m one of those guys if I’m 100% and fit and ready for the tournament, I play very good tennis.

But now I think definitely I’ll go back to Davis Cup we have. It’s a little bit further away we have, maybe two weeks. Maybe I’ll relax now a little bit.

Q. Do you feel the Old Grandstand that you hear a lot more from the crowd than you would other courts?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, for sure. It’s, what do you call it, everything is near and compact. Yeah, surprised there was no challenge. I obviously played on that court where I beat Lleyton and lost to Gasquet in the third round. There was a challenge. This year there was no challenge. I was fascinated. But obviously they moved the New Grandstand to the new position and it’s a great court, for sure. I’ve seen it.

Q. Are you saying you will play Davis Cup?
BERNARD TOMIC: Of course. It’s a stupid question. I always play Davis Cup. I’m there 100%.

Q. You seem to expect the questions about what got picked up on microphones. How did you hear about that after the match?
BERNARD TOMIC: What do you mean?

Q. How did you hear this was out and online and everyone heard what you said?
BERNARD TOMIC: I just heard from you. You just told me then, or whoever said. I couldn’t care less. I apologized right now if anyone heard around, but I directed it specifically to him.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
BERNARD TOMIC: I couldn’t care less where he went. I think the crowd clapped that he went, so…

Q. Have you been told that you might get a fine for it or not?
BERNARD TOMIC: No. I mean, he was for sure in the moment saying a lot of stuff to me. But it’s okay. It’s just sometimes the crowd need to be respectful, especially at a big major tournament, the US Open, for example. Like I said before, I saw it in the Tipsarevic match, too. The crowd get too into it, too against an opponent, too on one person’s side. It creates energy. The crowd really get into the match. It sometimes can cause problems.

I had problems on the other end, as well, with a few people in the corner. But it’s just they were saying some negative stuff to me, in my language of Serbian-Croatian. The microphones didn’t pick that up. But I obviously caught the blame for that.

Q. Was it something about playing a Bosnian that made this match more heated?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah. My mother is Bosnian. Obviously I understand the language. Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, it’s all the same.

I had a bit of problem with the other side of the end with a few people. But that’s okay. They apologized as well to me and they started supporting for me in the fourth set. I was happy to see that as well.

Q. It’s tough for athletes traveling the world. You’re out there all by yourself in hostile settings. Do you think athletes nonetheless have a responsibility to have basic decency and respect or anything goes?
BERNARD TOMIC: I think, you know, we’re in a sport where it’s so respected. Golf, tennis, I think we respect one another and the crowd. If you see golf tournaments, as well, on the side, no one’s yelling, no one’s talking. There’s a lot of quiet there before someone is hitting the swing or stroke.

So is tennis. It’s a very respectful sport. We’re not boxers or MMA fighters that we rip into each other’s throats before the fight. It’s a very respected sport. I think it should be that way.

Q. Do you feel you crossed the line with what you said?
BERNARD TOMIC: I’d like to see what the microphone picked up what he said. But that might not be possible.

 

Venus Williams

Press Conference

V. WILLIAMS/K. Kozlova

6-2, 5-7, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How would you assess your play today?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, today, the first round is never easy. You’re trying to find a rhythm, get used to the court, you know, play an opponent I never played before.

But it was great to be challenged and to be pushed because I had to get in those situations that you know you’re going to face in the tournament early on. So that felt good to come through.

Q. You looked like you were pretty agile today, all over the court. Has your dancing helped that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No one’s going to pay me to dance (laughter). They’ll pay me to play tennis. I’m going to keep it at that. If it is helping, thank God.

Movement was important today. Of course, courts are a little slow, so you have to have that little extra in the movement or something.

Q. 18 US Opens. You’ve never lost in the first round. How tough is that first match to come out and to be at your peak and make sure you win through against an opponent that you didn’t know much about?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I didn’t know much about her game at all, literally zero. And it’s hard. The first round is hard. I haven’t played a single match in, like, three weeks. Just getting out there and trying to play perfectly.

I definitely had a lot more errors than I wanted. If I could cut those in half, it’s definitely a different story.

The good part is I’m playing the game I want to play, I’m playing aggressively and moving forward. It’s just about making a few less errors and it’s a completely different story.

Q. When you walk off the court after that second set, what goes through your mind having lost it the way you did, probably wanting to regroup a little bit for the third?
VENUS WILLIAMS: After the second set, I was so motivated, honestly I was ready to play an even more aggressive game. I was ready to play even more aggressively. I think in the beginning of the second, I was just too eager so I had to kind of pull back and try to play smart but still aggressive because the game she plays is just pure defense, it appears, and she does well with it.

Q. It’s been five years since you told us you have the Sjogren’s syndrome. You’ve had a pretty good year. You have to be happy with the year you’ve had.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Of course. Then as an athlete, you’re always aiming for perfection, you want more and more and more. It’s never enough. That’s what I’m looking forward to, to peak every time I get on the court. That pretty much doesn’t happen ’cause I’m always wanting to be better.

Q. What would you say that you love the most about tennis?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I love that I love it. So when you love something, you put the work in. I love the challenge. Definitely I like the pressure. I like the high stakes. All of that makes it just perfect for my personality.

Q. 72 Grand Slam appearances. It’s a record.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Record for people playing?

Q. I think it’s the all-time record.
VENUS WILLIAMS: For what?

Q. 72 Grand Slam appearances.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Hmm (smiling).

Q. In the main draw.
VENUS WILLIAMS: That’s crazy.

Q. What are your thoughts on that? What does it say about your career?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I’m grateful and I’m blessed. All I’m hoping for is just health that I can keep that record going. I don’t know when I’m going to stop playing. I don’t have plans now. I’m playing too well to be thinking about stopping. I appear to be getting better each and every month.

So I’d like to make that record hard for someone to break (smiling).

Where is Serena at? Not far behind?

Q. Not far behind.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not far behind.

Q. You talked about coming off the court after the second set and feeling really motivated. Obviously when you came off after the third and won, you looked very happy. You were hitting the balls up. What goes through your mind at a time like that? Do you think about where you’re hitting them?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not really. I was just trying to hit them high. Those fans deserve it. They really put in the time. They really were behind me. Definitely grateful the match was over.

She seemed to play her best from behind. I just wanted to finish that out and use my experience to try to dominate the last game.

Q. You play the game with such joy. Is there any extra sense of excitement when you and Serena are taking Ashe on the same day?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not necessarily because when you’re in the thick of it, you are so focused on that moment. In a lot of ways, you don’t have time to celebrate the moment. You’re, like, focusing because if you don’t, then you will lose the moment and be out of the tournament. So it’s just laser focus the whole time.

Q. You look so elegant, there’s grace there. Today when we asked your mixed doubles partner from Rio what was the quality that most struck him. He said your fierceness, you’re such a fierce athlete. Could you talk about that. Where did that come from?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I told him when we got on the court, I said, It looks like I’m really nice but I’m not (laughter). I think he learned that. Of course, I’m nice, but… I’m an inward person but I’m extremely competitive. I think when you’re a doubles partner with me that’s when you really get to know that side because of the way we’re strategizing and the way we go into the match. I think he got to know that I don’t take a loss for an answer.

Q. Do you think because you’re so inward that somehow helps you? Your fierceness is a little hidden?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Everyone’s different. It’s just how I operate. Some people are outward, and they need all that. For me, it works for me. It’s just my personality.

Q. Do you take particular note when there are other siblings in the men’s or women’s draws? The Harrisons, for example, may be the brothers to come through qualifying. Thoughts on that. Do you take particular note?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It’s really wonderful to have a sibling on tour. I know that Serena and I’s experience is extraordinary, but for us it feels normal. Then we always have our whole family here with us, and that feels normal.

It’s wonderful to know that someone knows exactly what you’re going through. Of course, when you’re playing your opponents, they know what you’re going through. But there’s not an aligned interest, so to speak. Our interests are always aligned. When I’m sitting there in the box, I’m like, I’ve been in that moment. I know what she’s feeling.

Q. At this point in your career do you think you sign more autographs or take more selfies with fans?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Selfies have become an epidemic. You are getting off a plane at 1 a.m., Can I take a selfie? Please, I’m so tired, I don’t want to take a picture right now. I never thought I’d be here in my life. I got to say.

I’m a tennis player, but somehow I’m famous. It’s strange.

Q. There are times when fans struggle to actually get the photo off.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Every time. Every time (laughter).

Q. In the New York Times profile on you, there was one line that struck me, that you’re learning AutoCAD. How does a professional tennis who is pretty busy all the time do that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I did learn AutoCAD, but then I forgot it because I didn’t use it for five years. So then I learned Revit, which is a completely different system. So I probably could work AutoCAD now, but I need to kind of go backwards.

In any case, it’s a random thing in my life. I’m very, very much immersed in the industry.

Q. The commentators were talking about the crowd support tonight. Is that something you recognized as well?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Once I came back from illness, it seemed like the crowd was really, really there for me, on my side. Maybe they related to what I was going through. I definitely saw a big difference once I came back from taking time off and being ill.

Q. Ryan Harrison yesterday said an interesting thing, that he would rather face Novak Djokovic in the tournament than his brother. I presume you have a similar feeling in terms of facing Serena. When there’s a draw, how quickly do you notice where you are in relation to Serena?
VENUS WILLIAMS: So you’re saying I would rather play Novak Djokovic (laughter)? I think the chemicals in our body are completely different. I don’t think I need to be in that position, but…

I don’t know. We’ve been playing each other since day one. I don’t know what their experience has been, but we know we have to play each other. If we didn’t want to play each other, one of us should have ran track or something. So we know it’s going to happen when we get out there. We just get ready for it.

Q. When Serena won here in 1999, she came out and just hit the cover off the ball for seven matches. How different of a player tactically was she in ’99 versus now?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I always admired her game. Just so fearless. You can’t teach that. Not only fearless, but execution as well. I had an interesting question for her because, you know, I got to the finals in ’97. I thought, I want to ask her, does she think she could have won that final, because I didn’t even come close. So I wonder if my experiences beforehand helped her to be ready for those sorts of positions. That’s a question I have to ask her.

But I wouldn’t bet against her. Honestly, I wouldn’t want to do that.

Thank you, guys. Good night.

 

Juan Martin Del Potro

Press Conference

J. DEL POTRO/D. Schwartzman

6-4, 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you describe what it was like to be out there again in front of a crowd that was cheering so loudly for you?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, that’s means big things to myself. I am so glad to be part of this tournament once again after three years. I really appreciate the wild card who give me to have the chance to play, and that’s important for me.

Always, in every match here at the US Open, the crowd make me feels special. I really like the atmospheres down there. They create another things in every court.

It’s amazing for me just having the chance to play here once again.

Q. After the Olympics, how long afterward did you still feel tired from the Olympics? What did you do to try to recover to play here?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, to be honest, I’m still feeling tired, for sure. I couldn’t recovery after Rio because I was at home doing many things, in my hometown as well. We decide to came here on Tuesday, trying to stay focused in this tournament, because is a big tournament as well.

It’s not easy after a big, big challenge like I did in Rio. But this tournament is very special for me. I’m trying to keep calm, to keep focuses, and look forward to go far.

Q. Would you say the reception in Argentina was maybe bigger than when you won the US Open?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I think was different because the people in Argentina, in my hometown, they know what has been through to get there after my surgeries. It was a special moments for me. They really appreciate what I did to come back on tennis. They are proud to see me playing tennis again.

I’m very proud to represent my hometown, my country. It was amazing for me at Rio.

Q. I spoke with Diego Schwartzman. He said you hadn’t played that many games before. What did you know about his game?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I think he plays well. In the end he started to play much better than at the beginning of the match. It was tough to play because it was really, really hot down there.

He’s a smart player. You know, he runs really fast. I think for this surface, if you don’t have a good serve, you couldn’t take the chance to win the match. And that’s what I did today. Basically in the tiebreak I played smart points and I closed the match there.

Q. Last year before your surgery, could you tell us how close you were to quit or retire? Did you have the time to imagine your life without tennis?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I was really close to quit tennis because after the first surgery, the second one, and in the end the third one, it was really, really sad moments for me. Nobody knows what should I have to fix my problem.

My family and friends help me a lot to never give up. And I think I’m doing well now. The worst part of my life is totally in the past, and I’m living a good present and looking forward for a good future.

Hopefully I couldn’t think what I’m going to do the rest of my life after tennis because now I’m trying to play tennis again. I would like to do this for a few years.

Nick Kyrgios

Press Conference

N. KYRGIOS/A. Bedene

6-4, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did you fell about that overall?
NICK KYRGIOS: I’m really pleased with that one. He’s a good competitor. He makes a lot of balls. He’s not going to give it to you.

Yeah, I was nursing a little bit of an injury, and I how I responded was really well. I’m really happy. I thought I played solid, returned well, served well, hit the ball well. That was a pretty good all-around performance.

Q. What’s the nature of the injury?
NICK KYRGIOS: It’s my hip. It’s fine at the moment, which is really good.

Q. Is that just after Cincinnati you felt it?
NICK KYRGIOS: I actually upped my training a little bit. Went to Miami, Boca, did a lot of training. Obviously with the US Open I wanted to find my form, and I don’t know, just a bit of a load but it’s okay. It’s nothing to worry about.

Q. How did you find the court compared to last year?
NICK KYRGIOS: I didn’t play on that court last year.

Q. The speed of the courts this year compared to last year?
NICK KYRGIOS: I played on Arthur Ashe last year against Murray, so I don’t think it was the speed of the court, really. I thought the conditions were — you know, I thought they were great serving conditions on that particular court. I like how sort of the barriers are close. Big servers get a lot of confidence.

I thought I had a lot of rhythm, as well. Slow, medium, fast. I don’t know. I’m the worst person to ask that stuff, to be honest.

Q. Do you like when the fans are that close? Bernie was having trouble with a spectator in the crowd. Do you like having a crowd close to you?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I think the courts are really good. I had my first title in Marseilles, and that was sort of the same sort of setup and I had some good results. Even Atlanta was like that.

I think those courts favor big servers and guys who play big, the court seems a bit slower, for some reason. Have a lot of confidence with the game.

Q. When you hear what people are saying, how much do you have to zone that out?
NICK KYRGIOS: I don’t really zone it out, to be honest. Some guy was like, Change your clothes, that’s an awful outfit.

I was trying to come up with a comeback. I didn’t want to say anything. He was an old man. He got me this time.

Q. Next opponent. Have you had a chance to check your record when you played him before?
NICK KYRGIOS: Who won? Zeballos?

I haven’t. You know, he obviously beat Florian Mayer, who isn’t an easy player to beat. The guy has been around for a long time, obviously had a couple of injuries or illnesses. I’m not too sure.

He missed a couple years or year or something. Before that he was a guy who was dangerous. He won a title this year, so he can definitely play. I’m guessing it was a hell of a match. I’m not going to do anything different.

Q. If you play on your terms, you think you’ll probably get through?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah.

Q. You mentioned playing Murray on Ashe. Conditions didn’t matter. Do you feel like you have more of a draw to work with your seeding? You should be able to make your way into…
NICK KYRGIOS: My head space last year wasn’t the greatest. I was obviously going through a lot of stuff last year through that whole Montreal thing.

I’m seeded 14 here, so I won’t meet Murray until I’m a hell of a lot further through the draw. I feel comfortable in general on the tennis court. I feel more comfortable in my game against whoever I play. I know what I can do on the tennis court. I have beaten quality players. I’m not afraid of these guys, but I’m aware they all can play some really good tennis.

Q. A random question: Have you ever gotten your haircut at the tournament salon? If not, where do you get it cut?
NICK KYRGIOS: I have. I think the year where I qualified maybe I got it cut there. I can’t remember. I’m sure they do a great job.

I just typed in “barbers” this year. It was like old-school barber shops, indoors and upstairs and stuff. Really good barbers here. I think my hair is important, too.

Q. Have you been impressed with the Manhattan Pokémon landscape?
NICK KYRGIOS: It’s actually pretty solid. I found one that I’m using. It’s good. Real good.

Q. Radar?
NICK KYRGIOS: I’m not telling you.

 

Agnieszka Radwanska

Press Conference

A. RADWANSKA/J. Pegula

6-1, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Looked like you picked up right where you left off in New Haven. Pretty happy with that performance?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes, of course. You know, the most important thing that I have quick, nice first round. Just very happy to have this quick match just to, you know, be ready and fresh for the next one.

Q. You talk about needing to be fresh, to try to get through the first week without too many complications. When matches do start to get complicated, do you start to think about that, Here I go again, stuck in the third set, should have finished this in two, or can you stay focused?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, I think because we playing a lot, I think every scenario I already did. I played so many matches pretty quick in two sets. There were some Grand Slams that I was really struggling from the first rounds.

So, you know, anything can happen. But, of course, it’s always better to have quick match, have good tennis and be confident with your game. I prefer for sure those kind of matches than those I have to save match points, for example.

Q. Your sister is not in the draw this year. Does it make you enjoy the tournament any less?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, of course, it’s always better if she’s around. Struggling with couple of injuries, so she’s not here main draw. Well, hoping she can be back soon and we going to play most of the tournaments together.

Q. Do you think it’s an advantage to have a sister or brother on tour?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Of course. I think it’s great to have someone from the family around. You know, we best friends. We very close. It’s always good to have someone who understands you and know how it is how to lose, how to win, how you feel about it afterwards.

It’s always great to have her around.

Q. Do you follow more when you hear about other siblings? Do you follow closely?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Of course, I follow the scores. I’m really always curious about other matches. But, you know, it’s always nice also to see other siblings playing tennis. It’s always cool.

Q. Are you one of the people who looks at your draw at all, looks ahead, or does your coach tell you match by match who you’re playing?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yeah, actually never look at the draw. As we know, anything can happen. I don’t think it’s really necessary. I think the most important thing is just to focus on the match. If you win, then you can look up your next opponent, especially when you have another day to think about it and to prepare.

Q. Do you read the sheets that the tour puts out on records, the match notes? What are you most proud of from the records you’ve read about yourself?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: You mean here?

Q. Just in general before matches.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, it depends. Sometimes it’s really funny to read some statistics that you have no idea about. Sometimes you really surprised. So I like to read those things about myself, other players, other tournaments, scores, wins and records.

It’s always very interesting.

Q. Do you have any New York traditions, something you always do when you’re here?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, I like to have this ice cream from this kind of car. I don’t know how you call it.

Q. The trucks?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yeah, the trucks. But it’s always nice just to walk around the city. Always cool. You know, as we know, New York never sleep. It’s always nice to get out from the hotel and forget about tennis for a little bit.

Q. Simona was saying the same thing, she was getting the ice cream from the trucks.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Really?

Q. Do you have a flavor?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes. Well, I like these sprinkles, colorful sprinkles, chocolate ones.

Q. There are a lot of changes at the tournament this year. Is there a court you’re looking to playing on?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, of course, I didn’t play on Grandstand. Of course that would be good to try to play on this court. I think I played on every court in this facility. So I think just the Grandstand is the one I didn’t play.

Q. The ride that you take from Manhattan to the site can vary. It can be short or long. What are you normally doing during that ride?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes, well, sometimes it’s very long. Sometimes I’m just getting nervous I’m going to be late. But when I’m on time, I’m trying to relax. Not much.

Q. Like phone, music, talking?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Of course, now we have wi-fi in the car so it’s much better. Yes, exactly like you saying, listen to music. Also checking other scores on the way to the courts. So, yeah.

 

Serena Williams

Press Conference

S. WILLIAMS/E. Makarova

6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How are you feeling coming into this? Compared with last year, are you in a better place? Are you more determined? How are you looking at it all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I feel okay. I mean, I didn’t play as many matches as I would have liked to play, much on the hard court. There’s nothing I can really do about it. I just have to get everything ready for here.

Q. You said on court that you wouldn’t know about your shoulder until tomorrow. Is that kind of the way it’s been, the day after that it gets sore after playing?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Usually it’s the day of. But as time has progressed, and this past week it’s usually been the day after, so that’s a really positive thing. So, yeah.

Q. What is your takeaway from this first round? Never know what you’re going to have. Tough opponent. Handled it well. Based on your serving stats, looked like your shoulder was feeling pretty good.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I knew today I needed to be focused because I’ve played her. She’s gotten to the semifinals. She goes deep in majors. She knows how to play big matches on big courts. She’s not intimidated. I knew I had to really come out today. It was my only option really.

Q. What were you most pleased with in the match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I was pleased with my serve because I haven’t been hitting a lot of serves at all. In practice, none of them were going in, so I was definitely excited about that.

Q. What, if any, adjustments did you make or have you had to make at all because of the shoulder in terms of how you hit serves? You just mentioned not hitting as many in practice. But in terms of the mechanics or anything, do you need to make adjustments?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I didn’t make too many adjustments. I didn’t hit them as hard as I normally hit them. I just went for more placement. I didn’t go for the big 120s, just the regular.

Q. Just about the dress. Are the sleeves part of the whole design? Are they an accessory? What was the idea behind it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It’s a part of the design. It’s just the latest and greatest accessory. It also is functional, so I think that helps me, especially with my shoulder problems that I’ve been having.

But, yeah, it was originally a part of the design. Just try to create that strong, powerful look on the court.

Q. The dress itself, is there a specific vision for it at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, we wanted to focus on the colors. So keep the color black. But there’s lots of pink pops throughout the dress. Yeah, it’s kind of what we were doing.

Q. One of the challenges when you play a great match like that is sustaining and building on it. What do you do going forward to sustain that sharpness?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Wow, I think I can improve a lot. I think I can get a lot better. I feel like there’s much, much more I can do. That’s the only thing I can do is do that.

Q. There’s been a lot of changes at the US Open this year. What do you think about the new stadium?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I love the new stadium. It’s really nice. I’ve practiced on it with it opened and closed, and that’s been really cool, so…

I haven’t seen the new Grandstand yet, but it looks nice on TV (smiling). A lot of changes going on here. I just think it’s all good changes.

Q. Is this tournament a more pleasant experience for you than last year’s was?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I had a great experience last year. I was going for something that no one has done in a really long time. Yeah, it didn’t end out wonderful for me or the way I wanted it to end. But it was all I could do. That’s all I could do.

If I could make the semis this year, I’d be excited about that. I need to at least do something.

Q. With all the changes, one thing that hasn’t changed is the tradition of hitting the balls up to the crowd at the end of the matches. When you do that, what goes through your mind? Do you try to send them to certain people?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I usually pick someone out. They never, never get the ball. Although today, the first time I picked someone out, the guy actually got the ball. That was exciting. That’s all that goes through my mind.

Q. You were asked on court about 1999, that run. If the Serena of today were to play that 1999 version of Serena, how would that match play out?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, what year would it be?

Q. It would be whatever year you wanted it to be.
SERENA WILLIAMS: That makes a difference ’cause if I were to go back in time, I don’t think I would win, because I was determined to win in ’99. I don’t think anything could have stopped me that year. I just had this feeling, even before I played the tournament, that I was going to win.

Maybe if it was a different year, I might have more of a chance.

Q. Do you feel like you’re a different tactical player?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely feel like I’m more tactical now. But I still I have that raw, I don’t care what is your best shot, I’m just going to play my best shot and let’s play tennis attitude. I still have that. But I definitely play with a little more tactic.

Q. Talk about why you were so determined to win in ’99.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t know. I don’t know. I always say this. I just had this feeling I was going to win. I knew it. I’ve never been so sure before or after.

Q. Your movement was exceptionally good tonight. Can you comment on that.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it’s all I could do with a shoulder injury, was movement. I couldn’t hit any balls. I wanted to stay fit, so…

I guess that kind of helped me out a little bit.

Q. It looked like you were using some of the cupping therapy that some of the swimmers do in the Olympics. Are you using that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I’ve always done that. I didn’t know it was something for recovery. If I go to my lady in Palm Beach, it’s part of acupuncture, I love getting it, it makes me relax. I was like, Wow, you can do that for recovery? I don’t usually do it on the road. I’ve never done it on the road.

But I’m always learning new things. I definitely would love to try it on the road because I love the way it feels. But I never knew you could use it for recovery.

Q. A lot of talk about you retaining the world No. 1. How important is that to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t answer those questions.

Q. You and Venus have and continue to make history. When you both are playing on Ashe on the same day, is there any extra sense of enthusiasm to get out there and compete?
SERENA WILLIAMS: We love playing on Ashe. Playing on the same day is always great. I feel like it’s double the fun. It’s always great to see Venus do well.

Q. Can you actually describe what the cupping feels like.
SERENA WILLIAMS: It feels good. It feels like a suction. It feels like an octopus, although I don’t know what an octopus feels like. I think I snapped once a while back. It looks weird, of the cupping. Yeah, I always do it, but I just did it for fun, so…

But, yeah, so it just feels like it’s suctioning and it just feels good.

Q. (Question regarding the sleeve.)
SERENA WILLIAMS: It’s definitely functional. There’s definitely things in there to keep my muscles warm. Especially because of my shoulder problems, I don’t want it to affect my form, which was happening.

Not only is it cool, but it’s actually functional, so that really was able to work for me.

Q. Are you going to stay with it for a while?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I have it in a few designs in the future, so…

Q. Rajeev Ram was asked today what he thought Venus’ greatest quality was. He said her fierceness. What do you think your sister’s greatest attribute is?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I would say she also never quits, no matter what. You know, sometimes in doubles I’ll be like, I’m so over this. And she’s just always right in there. It always brings me back to reality. I’m like, Okay, let’s do this, let’s do this.

She’s just such a great fighter.

 

 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Andy Murray

Press Conference

A. MURRAY/L. Rosol

6-3, 6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You made it look very comfortable. Seemed pretty easy out there for you.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, in the start of the match he had a few chances the first couple of service games. Yeah, he came out going for his shots. Once I got through that, you know, sort of tricky period right at the start where he’s hitting the ball really well, you know, kind of adjusting to the conditions. The arena, it’s quite different playing out there now. It’s a lot louder than most places that we play, so you don’t hear the ball as much. There’s a slightly different sound in there. Once I got through that, I settled down and played, you know, I think a really good match.

Q. Do you think the noise and the atmosphere in there was different to previous years? It seemed there was just a constant hum or noise in the crowd throughout the match.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think last year was similar. You know, I’m assuming it’s to do with the roof. I mean, normally there’s always been noise out there. I think the roof has changed that a little bit.

Q. Can you feed off that, the energy you get from the crowd? I know you like playing here.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I think you get used to it as the match goes on. But it is very different. You know, imagine when you go to play on one of the outside courts, it will be quite a significant change.

Q. Any difference with the trajectory of the ball through the air or anything like that?
ANDY MURRAY: I think in the evenings — it was extremely humid tonight. This is nothing, in my opinion, to do with the roof. It’s always been like that in the evenings, a little bit easier to control the ball.

The court is obviously cooler, so it’s staying a little bit lower. It’s not bouncing up as high. During the day that’s obviously quite different. The ball’s bouncing up a lot more, tends to be a little bit harder to control.

Obviously now in there, this is because of the roof, there’s literally no wind at all. It almost has a feel of playing indoors because there’s no wind. It’s, like, perfect conditions to play really.

Q. Five Brits into round two. Did you watch any of the other matches? What did you make of them?
ANDY MURRAY: I saw the first couple of sets of Kyle’s match. That’s been it. I didn’t get to see any of the matches today. Yeah, I mean, Kyle played extremely well. I mean, I practiced with him the day beforehand.

He was hitting the ball good in practice. He’s improving all of the time. To win a match like that in a slam that comfortably against a top player, a guy that’s been at the top for a long time, you know, is a very good sign.

Yeah, it was good for him. Then obviously all the other Brits, obviously Naomi and Laura had a tight match. Dan got through, you know, a tricky one against Ram. Konta has been solid for a long time. Heather has never played so well here.

It’s been, I guess, a pretty good start for the Brits.

Q. You’re third on the list of points won on second serve. Must be pretty happy with that part of your game?
ANDY MURRAY: I served very well tonight. I used good variation on the second serve, as well. But, yeah, first and second serve were very good tonight. That’s something that I worked on a lot. It was good through the grass at Wimbledon. It was important for me.

You know, especially in the final there and the semis, I was really not giving up too many chances. Last week, as well, was the same thing. And in Cincinnati, too. When I serve well, the rest of my game tends to follow.

Q. There didn’t appear to be a semblance of weariness out there. A good week of rest?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, it’s tough to get the balance totally right the last week because, you know, I wanted to get used to the conditions but also didn’t want to spend so much time on the court that I came in feeling tired, because it could have been quite easy to do that.

Haven’t been in that position too many times coming into New York. Obviously maybe last year was a little bit similar. You know, kind of tried to learn a little bit from that, as well.

But I felt good out there. You know, didn’t waste too much energy, which is important, because it’s obviously a late finish. It will be a late one by the time I get back and in bed, even though the match, if it had gone four sets, an extra 45 minutes, an hour, becomes pretty late. I’m glad I got it done quickly and I feel all right.

Q. You said on court Ivan has changed having you playing with younger players. Can you explain that.
ANDY MURRAY: It’s best to ask him that. I said, you know, not a whole lot’s changed. But I think having the experience of coaching other players changes things a little bit. You probably learn more from working with different players of different ages.

When we worked together the first time, it’s the first time Ivan had ever coached, as well. Now, having worked with younger players, I think you learn different skills and understand certain things a bit better.

I think with young players especially, you know, you can’t just tell them, You served terrible today. They can take that to heart, and maybe the next day they serve terrible as well because their coach has told them that.

Whereas with I think maybe older players or professionals, it’s maybe a little bit easier to be a little bit more direct.

I just think he’s probably learnt some things working with juniors. He’s a smart guy, obviously a good coach.

Q. Not gone soft, has he?
ANDY MURRAY: No, not on me anyway (smiling).

Q. (Question regarding Novak.)
ANDY MURRAY: I saw the beginning of the match. Looked like he served particularly well at the beginning of the match. Seemed to be hitting the ball well from the back of the court. Just his serve wasn’t so good.

You know, that’s normal. Normally he would have played a little bit more, you know, coming into this. He’s normally done well in Cincinnati, though he’s not won there, he’s normally got to latter stages. Obviously with the early exit at the Olympics, he’s not played loads of matches for the last three weeks or so.

But he seemed fine. He was moving good, hitting the ball good from the back of the court. Just didn’t serve so well. I’m sure that will get better as the tournament goes on.

 

Note from the US Open Media Operations Guide as why Tennis Panorama News is allowed to post transcripts:

Transcripts of player interviews cannot be posted until one (1) hour after the interview has ended. Player transcripts can only be posted on the website of the publication that was accredited.
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No. 53 Federico Delbonis Surprises No. 2 Andy Murray in Third Round of BNP Paribas Open

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

(March 14, 2016)  INDIAN WELLS, California – No. 2 Andy Murray lost to No. 53 Federico Delbonis 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (3) in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open on Monday in a two-hours and 46 minutes.

The southpaw from Argentina trailed 1-4 to the Brit in the third set, won five of the next six games to serve for the match at 6-5. Murray broke Delbonis’ serve to get to a tiebreak which Delbonis won 7-3 to get the biggest victory of his career. Murray’s loss is the biggest upset of the men’s tournament so far.

“Obviously a tough one to lose in the end, having, you know, kind of fought hard to get myself in a winning position you know, 4-1-up,” Murray said.

“The 4-2 game that I got broken was a tough one in the third set. I was up 30-Love in the game and had a few volleys in that game. You know, he came out with some good passing shots. I could have done a bit more with the volleys maybe.

“But, yeah, I didn’t play a great tiebreak. That was disappointing. Obviously he had the chance to serve it out, and then I got back in there and didn’t play a great breaker.”

Murray has not had a great history at Indian Wells, with his best result coming in 2009 when reached the final. “I think it’s just the conditions here I have just struggled with throughout my career. I have never really felt that I played my best tennis here.

“I have tried and had many different preparations where I’ve got here early and spent a lot of time on the courts, and sometimes I arrive later, like this time from Davis Cup. You know, obviously it takes time to get used to new conditions regardless of where it is, but I have just never really found a way to get comfortable here throughout my career.

“It’s a shame.”

 

Asked if this was his biggest win, Delbonis said: “No, I have like a couple of big wins, but in situation was special, you know. For that tournament, for that surface, for me is the best win.

“And, well, I have — I was like quiet all the match that I know he wants to be aggressive in that third set. I don’t do it my job until the 4-1. I have to play it more to his forehand.

“That, when I do that, I can break. I can play from the 4-2 to the tiebreak and I get a big win for that, you know.

“I have another one (win). The title in Sao Paulo I think is the best one.”

Delbonis did beat Roger Federer when he was No. 5 in the world three years ago in Hamburg.

Asked about his strategy to hit to Murray’s forehand, the Argentine commented: I know that his backhand is pretty good when he’s quiet, you know, in one side. I know that I have to play, hit harder in his forehand to get a good hit or a good position the court, to be aggressive or to move it to him, because this is one of the keys to get a good point.”

“I feel good the surface because it’s not too fast,” he said. “For me, I can slice in that kind of court. I like it. Also, I like it in Australia. Every tournament I come this year I like it so much. I like to play in that kind of court, in that hard courts not so fast.

“For me it’s a good court to be aggressive.”

For Murray, this is the first tournament he has played as a father. February 7, his wife Kim gave birth to a baby girl named Sophia.

A couple of surprises on the women’s side of the draw included former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic, seeded 14 lost to 18th seed Karolina Pliskova 6-2, 6-0 and No. 7 Belinda Bencic was on the short end of a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 score to unseeded Magdalena Rybarikova. With all of the upsets on the women’s side, No. 9 seed Roberta Vinci, who beat 17th seed Elina Svitolina, remains the highest seed in the bottom half of the draw.

On the men’s side of the draw, No. 8 seed Richard Gasquet won 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 over Alexandr Dolgopolov. No. 12 seed Milos Raonic advanced when 17th seed Bernard Tomic retired with a right wrist injury down. 6-2, 3-0. Tomic’s injury puts a question mark on his participation at the Miami Open.

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Davis Cup: Isner “Aces” Australia, Powers U.S. to Quarterfinals with Victory over Tomic

DAVIS CUP: ISNER “ACES” AUSTRALIA

Powers U.S. to Quarterfinals with victory over Tomic

By Junior Williams

(March 6, 2016) MELBOURNE, Australia – John Isner blasted 49 aces – including one on match point – to give the United States a 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(4) victory over Bernard Tomic and Australia, securing an unassailable 3-1 lead and advancing into the quarterfinal round of the Davis Cup World Group.

In the first set, Isner took advantage of his first break point opportunity with a successful backhand volley, putting the U.S. up 3-2.

The world No. 11 finished the set with ten aces and won all six of his net points.

Isner’s next break of serve came in the second set when Tomic netted a return from the American, resulting in a 4-3 U.S. lead. Tomic shook his right wrist numerous times during that game and had it wrapped during the changeover. Isner went on to win the set after a Tomic volley at net went wide.

The momentum shifted in the third set, when Tomic began impersonating a backboard, successfully defending against the Isner serve. The world number 24 secured the set on his fifth break point of the game, giving hope to a home crowd cheering for a comeback.

But in the end, Isner pulled through after being down a mini-break early in the fourth-set tiebreak, rebounding to go up 5-4 – putting the match on his racket.

It was only fitting that he closed out the match — and the tie — with his 49th ace.

”We always knew it was going to be very difficult coming down here,” said U.S. captain Jim Courier. ”Our team came good. John stepped up today.”

“It was incredible tie for us,” Isner said. “We knew Australia was going to be tough and they put up a great fight.”

With the victory, The U.S. avoided a fifth and deciding rubber that the Aussie faithful at Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club had been hoping for: A potential match-up between American Jack Sock and Australian captain Lleyton Hewitt.

Halfway through the second set Tomic was picked up on a court microphone berating his countryman Nick Kyrgios who could not play the tie due to a virus. Tomic said to Hewitt during a changeover: “While I’m here, Nick’s sitting down in Canberra. Bull**** he’s sick.”

Next up for the U.S. A home tie in July against the winner of the first round tie between Belgium and Croatia.

***************************************************************************************************

Some irony involving the U.S. victory over Australia: International Tennis Federation admitted the tie should have played on hard court instead of on grass. That’s because of an agreement in 1999 to have the Aussies play the Americans in the U.S. that year to celebrate the Davis Cup centennial – this despite it being Australia’s turn to host a tie between the two countries.

 

Junior Williams is a long-time journalist and tennis fan. At a moment’s notice he can give you a list of all the Davis Cup match-ups that would give the US home ties. He is in Melbourne covering the Davis Cup first round World Group tie between the United States and Australia.

 

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Davis Cup: Deadlocked Down Under, USA and Australia Tied at 1-1

 

DAVIS CUP: DEADLOCKED DOWN UNDER

U.S., Australia tied at 1-1 in World Group First Round

 

By Junior Williams

(March 4, 2016) MELBOURNE, Australia – On a sizzling hot afternoon which saw temperatures surge close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, Bernard Tomic defeated Jack Sock 7-6(2), 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, to bring Australia even with the United States at 1-1 in their Davis Cup World Group First Round tie at Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club.

Tomic’s victory came after American John Isner dispatched Sam Groth 7-6(2), 6-2, 6-2 to give the U.S. an early lead.

It was a tight but impressive first set for Tomic, who won all 22 of his first serve points. His ball striking and defense of Sock’s ground strokes also gave the Australian the edge.

The world’s 20th-ranked player continued his momentum in the second set, securing it by breaking Sock with a shot that handcuffed the American on what was the fifth set point.

Sock bounced back in the third set, breaking Tomic for the first time in the match after the Australian mishit a ball past the baseline. The world number 24 also broke Tomic in the final game of the set.

But Tomic — who was 0-3 head-to-head against Sock prior to this match — took control in the fourth set, going up 5-4 winning a break point after rocketing a deep return of serve that Sock hit into the net.

Tomic closed out the 2 hour 24-minute match in the following game, to the delight of the home crowd. He won 120 points to Sock’s 114.

“It was very tough out there,” Tomic said. “I haven’t beaten Sock before so I knew that it was going to be tough. Anyone that you haven’t beaten before in your career – I think he’s on 2 or 3-0 record against me. So, for me I knew it was going to be tough but also playing him on a surface where I could beat him on and I was very happy because the conditions were very tough because I travelled so quickly here and you have to reset and you only have two or three days. So for me it was very tough out there.”

The top Australian admitted that it was difficult to get through the fourth set: “It was very tough because I had chances to be up a break in the third and then he got that break and it became a little bit hotter and after playing those first two sets everything got to me. So I had to find a bit of that energy and sometimes that’s good, I mean, I lapse away with my concentration a lot and that, to me, is a good thing because you rebuild your energy and it worked out in my favour in that fourth set. Gee, can you listen to that rain? I swear I finished and three minutes later it started.”

“Bernie did really well,” said Australian Davis Cup Captain Lleyton Hewitt. “Right from the start he came out serving great, hitting his spots really well. That was obviously a key to not let Jack get into too many of Bernie’s service games and we felt like Bernie’s going to get a lot more into his and put a lot more pressure on his second serve and he was able to do that. Bernie, the first set was a huge key as well and he played a great tie break, he picked the right side on a couple of shots and came up with a couple big passes and to have that first set, you know, it was hot out there as well especially those first couple of sets and once he went two sets to love up, he had a little lull there, which, you know, it happens in any five set matches. It’s about how you respond to that and he found a way in the fourth set. It’s not an easy thing to do to come out when you’re the number one player for your country and you’re one love down in Davis Cup in a World Group match. Bernie did fantastic today and he’s done absolutely everything that we’ve asked of him all week.”

“Bernie played some good tennis today when he needed to and came up with some good shots and, I’ll just take away you know the things I need to work on from that and take it into Sunday,” Sock said in press.

“Well we were put on grass, that’s the biggest difference I would say. I’ve played him on some slow hardcourts and some other hardcourts where you know my style definitely matches up well against and you know, his favourite surface is grass. His best results, you know, in the Slam are on grass and very crafty out there and his game is suitable for it. But, you know, I was in there and I felt confident after getting that third and then having a few chances early in the fourth, definitely felt like I was right. So, you know, for me my least experience has been on grass, so for me it actually did take away some confidence today playing out there against an experienced grass player and I’ll definitely use that for Sunday.”

In the opening match — a battle of high-powered servers — John Isner hit 20 aces and held serve throughout the match, despite six break point opportunities for Sam Groth, who was tapped to play singles for Australia after Nick Kyrgios pulled out of the competition due to illness.

The first set included a lot of what you’d expect, with eleven aces for Groth and ten for Isner. Groth also sprinkled in some doubles skills, winning four out of six net points. But Isner won a first set tiebreak, helped by a successful challenge that gave him a mini-break, and an ace up the middle to capture the set.

After that it was all Isner. Aside from his service game, the world No. 11 consistently cracked forehand and backhand winners up the sidelines. He also was helped by Groth’s first-serve percentage of 48-percent in the second set. The Georgia Bulldog notched his victory in 1 hour 49 minutes.

“It was a lot of confidence, you know, getting through that first set, I mean, I knew I was going to go out there, I knew I wasn’t going to be feeling fantastic right away,” Isner said. “Of course there’s a lot of nerves and you know, I haven’t seen his serve yet. So I got rid of those nerves in the first set and I got used to seeing the serve out there, so I became a lot more comfortable after that first set and I think it showed right away. I believe I broke the first game of the second set.

“So it was a very, very good performance for me and certainly I’ve played some matches in a lot in my career where I’ve struggled on return but I think today I was pretty solid.”

Isner commented on the court conditions with temperatures close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. “Yeah I thought the court was great, he said. “The heat was pretty hot. It was more humid than I’ve ever played in Melbourne it’s generally dryer in my opinion, but it was pretty humid. At the same time in a match up like that, you tell me how many rallies we had more than five shots, so it could have been 200 degrees out there and I probably would have felt all right.”

“I think the first set was always going to be big, especially in the way we both play, we both play with a little bit of confidence, both play behind our serve and especially on a day where it’s quite hot out there as well,” Groth said. “You know, had I maybe taken a chance, that 0-40 game earlier, maybe it’s a different story but I felt like after that when he won that back-hand winner that clipped the line in the tie breaker and then his confidence just seemed to build. He started taking cuts on returns and, you know, to his credit they started going in.”

The tie now moves to doubles Saturday. Future Hall of Famers Bob and Mike Bryan are slated for the U.S., with Groth and doubles specialist John Peers scheduled to go for Australia.

But the watch is on to see if captain Lleyton Hewitt will put himself in the mix for the green and gold.

Junior Williams is a long-time journalist and tennis fan. At a moment’s notice he can give you a list of all the Davis Cup match-ups that would give the US home ties. He is in Melbourne covering the Davis Cup first round World Group tie between the United States and Australia.

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Lleyton Hewitt on Standby as a Playing Captain to Replace an Ill Nick Kyrgios in Davis Cup Tie

(March 3, 2016) MELBOURNE, Australia – Lleyton Hewitt, who just retired from professional tennis at his home country’s major in January looks as though his career will continue. Hewitt, the 35-year-old former No. 1, who is making his debut as Australia’s Davis Cup Captain, will be a playing captain due to Nick Kyrgios who has been ill with a virus and can’t participate. Hewitt is officially on standby to play the tie against the United States in the first round of the Davis Cup World Group this weekend to be played at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club.

Hewitt is Australia’s most accomplished Davis Cup player winning 58 of the 78 singles and doubles matches in his career.

“We took him (Nick Kyrgios) through his paces this morning and gave him a little fitness test to see how he pulled up from yesterday, but he just wasn’t fit enough to play this weekend,” Hewitt said. “It’s bad timing for us but it was really out of our hands and the end.”
“The illness is a kind of an unknown a little bit. You just don’t know,” Hewitt said “But obviously before nine o’clock this morning we had to make the best possible decision for the team, and we were dealing with Nick on everything. He wanted to put his hand up and certainly didn’t want to let the team down, and that’s why it was a tough decision for everyone involved.”

The draw for the tie took place in Kooyong on Thursday where Bernard Tomic, Sam Groth and John Peers were officially named to team Australia. Friday will see No. 1 U.S. player John Isner play Groth, followed by Australia’s top player Tomic face Jack Sock. Doubles day on Saturday as the Bryan Brothers are scheduled to play John Peers and Sam Groth. Sundya will be reverse singles – Isner versus Tomic and Groth against Sock.

U.S. Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier said he was not shocked to see Hewitt change the team.

“I wouldn’t say we are surprised given that we saw Lleyton practicing this week and Nick’s pretty conspicuous absence,” he said. “It is certainly not something coming to Australia that we were anticipating though. Nick is a very tough player who is on a high now with his results. However, Sam is a very capable grass court player and we won’t take him lightly for one second.

“I am sure that Lleyton will do whatever is best for his team. That’s his role. He is very aware of doing whatever is required to give him the best chance to win. He knows how everyone is feeling with health and length of matches. There are all types of combinations that could bring him to the court. That will be his call and we will be prepared.”

Jack Sock says he’s ready to take on friend Tomic on Friday. “It is going to be a very competitive and fiery match. He has had great results in Davis Cup and this is just my second tie, but we also played each other a few times in the past. It is a different scenario in Davis Cup, but I think the matches in the past will help me with my confidence and how to go about the match. We have always had some close matches and it comes down to a few points here or there. He is definitely playing some great tennis right now with some good results this year.”

Australia and the United States will be meeting for the 46th time. The U.S. team leads 25-20, last competing against the Aussies in the 1999 quarterfinals, when Australia won and went on take the Davis Cup title. The U.S. and Australia are the two leading nations with the most Davis Cup titles, 32 and 28 respectively.

Weekend Line-up

DAY/LOCAL MATCH TIME                  EVENT                    DETAILS/PAIRING

Friday, 11:00 a.m.                                   Singles A:                John Isner (USA) vs. Sam Groth (AUS)

Singles B:                Jack Sock (USA) vs. Bernard Tomic (AUS)

Saturday, 12:00 p.m.                               Doubles:                  Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (USA) vs. Sam Groth/John Peers (AUS)

Sunday, 11:00 a.m.                                 Singles C:                John Isner (USA) vs. Bernard Tomic (AUS)

Singles D:                Jack Sock (USA) vs. Sam Groth (AUS)

 

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Australia Takes On U. S. in Davis Cup This Weekend in Kooyong

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Australia Takes On U. S. in Davis Cup This Weekend in Kooyong

U. S. Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier

U. S. Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier

(March 1, 2016) The United States will take on Australia in the Davis Cup World Group First Round this weekend at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club in Kooyong, Australia, from March 4-6 on a temporary grass court. The club was the former home to the Australian Open from 1972- 1987. The U.S. has met Australia more times than any other nation in Davis Cup play. The U.S. leads the head-to-head series 25-20.

Former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, who retired at this year’s Australian Open will be making his debut as Australia’s Davis Cup captain. Hewitt has named world No. 20 Bernard Tomic, world No. 27 Nick Kyrgios, world No. 77 Sam Groth, and doubles specialist John Peers to team Australia.

Tomic holds a 15-3 singles record in Davis Cup competition, Kyrgios is 3-3 and Groth is 2-1 in singles and 1-2 in doubles. Peers is making his Davis Cup debut.

United States Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier has chosen top-ranked American and world No. 11 John Isner, world No. 24 Jack Sock, and 16-time major doubles champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan to the U.S. Davis Cup Team. Isner is 8-9 singles in Davis Cup competition. Sock made his debut on the U.S. team last year in the World Group Playoff, where he won both of his singles matches, becoming the first American since John McEnroe in 1978 to win two live rubbers in a Davis Cup debut. Bob and Mike Bryan are a dominant 23-4 in Davis Cup doubles together and are the all-time winningest U.S. Davis Cup doubles team in history.

Both teams held a pre-draw news conference on Tuesday, the draw will be made on Thursday.

Kyrgios was absent from the news conference due to a virus said Captain Hewitt who told him to rest: “Nick has a virus. At the moment, he is taking it easy and trying to get over that 100% to be ready to go. I didn’t want him around the other boys if he is a bit infectious. It is more of a precaution. He will be ready.

“Nick has played a lot of matches, as well as Bernie. They are coming in confident with their ball striking and it is about these guys doing the small things to feel comfortable on the grass courts. Come match day, I am backing both of these boys.”

 

“I am lucky with both of these guys (Kyrgios and Tomic),” Hewitt said. “Both of their games suit grass with big serves and good returns. The reason both boys are approaching career-high rankings right now is because of their serves. That will be a big point this weekend because the U.S. team serves well, too. It will come down to a few points here or there, just like any grass-court five-set match, but I am glad our boys have won quite a few matches in the last month.”

Tomic is back from just having played the final of Acapulco over the weekend.

“It was tough to play a final then fly here,” Tomic admitted. It was tough to get here, but I am happy to be here. The hit today was good and now on grass, I need to get as ready as I can.

“It is tough to say if I will be 100% by Friday, but there will not be a lot of rallies. There will be quick points. I am serving really well and playing very confidently. I just played one of my biggest tournaments and I am very happy with the way I am playing and will be ready for the show on Friday”

On making the transition to being a captain from a player, Hewitt said: “I have adjusted pretty smoothly. This week has been all about getting these boys on the practice courts and working out drills. It has been good this week, especially with doubles, and learning what times to say something and other times not to say so much. I have been a good hitting partner.”

U.S. Captain Courier reacted to Hewitt’s comments about Australia being the underdog: “It doesn’t matter one bit. We are the away team and we travelled to get here. The crowd will be behind them. We are here to play whether it is as an underdog or overdog. None of that matters, which I wish it did. We have to go to battle and play.

“We have to get through the first tie, but our draw is more favorable this year than it has been,” said Courier in discussing the outlook for the U. S. in Davis Cup competition this year. “Second round matchups are not easy, but it is easier than some other teams for us. But, you cannot look past anyone in Davis Cup and we have learned that the hard way. You have to put one foot in front of the other and this will be a tough tie for us.”

“Jack (Sock) had a great debut as a Davis Cup player in Uzbekistan last year and that is big part of why he is here. We have a lot of confidence in what he brings to the table and he is getting valuable experience here. We have some younger players that have had good success in the juniors that is translating to the pros. It is nice to feel that energy coming up below our best players.”

“Every point is huge,” said Isner. “I have been playing Davis Cup for quite a bit, but not nearly as long as the Bryans. Jack is a bit newer at this. There is certainly pressure on every player that is competing this weekend and we know that. I don’t think there is any extra pressure on me by any means.

I am preparing for the team that has been submitted. It can change come Thursday, but as of right now, I am prepared for all of them.”

Sock discussed the challenge of taking on Tomic and Kygios this weekend.

On facing Bernard Tomic, Sock said: “We are good friends. We have spent some time together in our careers. However, in any setting on the court, we go out there and you put that aside and compete. Afterwards, you are still pretty good friends, but when it is on the court, that doesn’t really enter your mind.

He has always been a good player. He is consistently staying more professional and working on the things he needs to do and that is why his results are showing.”

As for Kyrgios: “Similar to Bernie, I am friends with Nick, but when you step on the court, it is about the tennis and playing each other.

“When you are off the court, you can still be friends. When you are out there playing, that is the only thing that matters—especially this weekend when you are representing your country. It gives me all the more reason to go out there and compete as hard as I can.”

The winner of this tie moves into the World Group Quarterfinal, July 15-17, and will play either Croatia or Belgium. The tie will air on Tennis Channel in the United States.

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Dominic Thiem and Sloane Stephens Win Singles Titles in Acapulco

Dominic Thiem and Sloane Stephens won the singles titles at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco on Saturday night.

Theim defeated Bernard Tomic 7-6(6), 4-6, 6-3, while Stephens took 3 hours and five minutes for an epic struggle of a victory over former Acapulco champion Dominika Cibulkova 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(5).

For the Austrian Thiem, who went 13-1 for the month of February, it was his fifth career ATP World Tour title, his first not on clay. He won the Buenos Aires title a week ago.

For Sloane Stephens, it was her third WTA tournament victory and second of 2016. She also won in Auckland.

“It was unbelievable,” said the Austrian. “These three weeks have been amazing. Winning my first 500 title and first hard-court title, it was just perfect. It was how a final should be, between two young and up-and-coming players. I hope we’re going to play many more finals together. Both of us wanted to win so badly and I’m happy I was the one today.”

“It’s not easy, I’d love to win,” Tomic commented. “It could have been huge if I won, but I had a chance. That’s the biggest disappointment, having the chance to win. I’m frustrated with myself… I was leading in the first set and then I lost it and I was up a break in the third and gave away my serve straight away.

“But he was playing very well and he’s an amazing competitor. Every point he’s competing. He was feeling good on court and has been playing well all week. In the final of big tournaments, you have to take your chances in the big moments. I didn’t take it.”

The 22-year-old Thiem will move up the rankings to a career high No. 14.

The final was the third on the ATP World Tour to feature players born in the 1990s. Thiem has been involved with all three.

In men’s doubles, former World No. 1 Max Mirnyi is just two match wins away from joining the ‘700 Club’ winning his first title with Treat Huey. For Mirnyi it’s his 49th doubles title, seventh for Huey.

“It was a tough first round match against Guccione and Tomic and we somehow came out with the win there 14-12 in the tie-break,” Huey said. “We took a lot of momentum from that. I was feeling pretty sick the first few days and could barely get out of bed, but as Max said we just need to find a way. We did and we’ve been playing great tennis all week. It’s great to win a title and we’re having fun. The tournament here in Acapulco is unbelievable.”

“I told Treat that even though we’ve only been together for two months, we’ve been through a lot,” Mirnyi explained. “We’ve improved on our teamwork and things we need to do. Luckily today, in a big tournament like Acapulco, everything clicked. We played well at the same time which was important.”

“I got a little bit better today because of her, and I wouldn’t want to have this memory with anyone else,” Stephens said about her opponent Cibulkova during her trophy ceremony.

Stephens is perfect in finals at 3-0.

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